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From a Drawing by Muirhead Bone. 


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The following Essays are connected rather by the 
method of treatment attempted than by subject. 
Architecture is a difficult art, and it is less popular in 
England than in other countries. The reason is, I 
believe, that writers have dealt with architecture 
either as an affair of dates and technicalities or as a 
vehicle for moral disquisition. The first method has 
little interest for the layman, and the latter none at all 
for the artist. The result has been that architecture, 
considered as an art, has dropped out of the main 
stream of educated thought, and has lost touch of that 
intelligent interest which is freely accorded to the sister 
arts. The problem for the critic is, I think, to find 
in architecture the personal equation of the architect, 
to read his personality in his works, and to find a 
clue to his works in his personality. After all, the 
vital interest of architecture is the human interest, 
not merely the reflection of social habit in buildings, 
but that play of personal temperament, which is as 
clearly traceable in the works of architects as it is 
in those of painters and sculptors. It is to this point 
that I have addressed myself in the following Essays. 


I have aimed at recalling attention to the fact that 
architecture is not a mystery to be jealously concealed 
from the uninitiated, or a go-as-you-please affair 
without principles or tradition, but an expression of 
the human intelligence, conditioned by the same laws 
and capable of the same critical analysis as any other 
imaginative and intellectual effort. For my short- 
comings in this endeavour, I must plead the limited 
opportunity possible to a writer whose principal work 
lies elsewhere. 

The Essays " Byzantium or Lombardy " and " A 
Hundred Years of the French Renaissance " appeai-ed 
in the Quarterly Review^ and the remainder in the 
Architectural Review^ and I have to express my thanks 
to the proprietors for their permission to republish 
these Essays. That on Andrea Palladio has been 
largely rewritten since its first appearance. I have 
also to thank Mr. Muirhead Bone for the reproduction 
of the drawing of Newgate, Mr. J. B. Fulton for the 
two drawings of St. Sophia, and Mr. Dockree for 
the use of his photographs of Old Newgate. 

Frognal, Hampstead. 



Byzantium or Lombardy i 

Andrea Palladio 40 

The Architect op Newgate 73 

A Hundred Years of the French Renaissance. 91 

Philibert de l'Orme 134 

The Italians at Fontainebleau 191 

List op Italians employed at Fontainebleau . -215 


De l'Orme's Method op porming built-up Ribs por Roops 218 

INDEX 221 




^Thc Last of Newgate. From a Drawing by 

Muirhead Bone Frontispiece 

^ San Vitale, Ravenna. View looking N.E. . . To face page 6 

^ St. Sophia. From a Drawing by J. B. Fulton . „ 22 

^St. Sophia. View of Interior. From a Drawing 

by J. B. Fulton „ 26 

^'The Pantheon. As given by Du Perac . . „ 51 

"'Interior of San Giorgioy Venice .... „ 58 

^ Interior of II Redentore, Venice .... „ 60 

" II Salute, Venice. From a Drawing by Reginald 

Blomfield ,, 62 

*^ The MunicipiOy Vicenza „ 68 

"^ San Giorgio, Venice. From a Drawing by Reginald 

Blomfield „ 72 

"^View of Old Newgate from the N.W. From a 

Photograph by Mr. Dockree ... \^ 74 

^ Newgate from S.W. From a Photograph by Mr. 

Dockree „ 76 

''Figure of Liberty, Old Newgate. From a Photo- 
graph by Mr. Dockree . . . . „ 78 

^Figure of Justice, Old Newgate. From a Photo- 
graph by Mr. Dockree .... „ 80 

''Figure of Peace, Old Newgate. From a Photo- 
graph by Mr. Dockree .... „ 82 




By G. 

"^ Figure with Cornucopia, Old Newgate. From a 

Photograph by Mr. Dockree 
^The Debtor's Door, Old Newgate. 

Photograph by Mr. Dockree 
^ Plate from the "Caprici di Carceri." 

Piranesi, Rome, 1751 

•"'^The Three Graces." By Germain Pilou . 

*^ Urn of Francis I., St. Denis. By Pierre Bontemps 

*^Figures from the Fontaine des Innocents. By 

Jean Goujon 

"^ Figures from the Fontaine des Innocents. By 

Jean Goujon 
•'General View of Anet 
"^Exterior of Chapel, Anet. As refaced by Caristie. 

11 ******* 
"^Chenonceaux. The Bridge and Gallery 
''The Porte Chapelle, Compi^gne . 
"^Tomb of Francis I., St. Denis 
"^ Fontainebleau. General View from Gardens 
''Serlio's Egyptian Door, Fontainebleau. From : 

Drawing by Reginald Blomlield . 
''Figure from Gallery of Francis I., Fontainebleau 

From a Drawing by Reginald Blomfield 
" From Gallery of Francis I., Fontainebleau. From 

a Drawing by Reginald Blomfield 
''Figures from the Escalier du Souverain, Fontaine- 
bleau. From a Drawing by Reginald Blomfield 
^The Salle des F^tes or Salle de Bal, Fontainebleau 
''Aile de la Belle Chemin^e, Fontainebleau. From 

a Drawing by Reginald Blomfield 
''Capital from Chapel of St. Saturnin, Fontainebleau. 

From a Drawing by Reginald Blomfield 
"^ Capital, Fontainebleau. From a Drawing by 

Reginald Blomfield 

To face 

page 84 
















Villa for Paolo Almerigo, Viccnza 44 

The Pantheon. As given by Palladio 50 

Palazzo Valmarana, Vicenza 65 

Gaillon. From Du Cerceau, Les plus excelUns Bastimens . 1 03 
Portrait of Philibcrt dc TOrme. From (Euvres de Philibert 

de rOrme 135 

Plan of Anet 146 

Plan of the Chapel, Anet 1 50 

Plan of the Tuileries. As designed by De TOrme. From 

Du Cerceau 169 

Elevation of the Tuileries. As designed by De TOrme. 

From Du Cerceau 174 

" The Good Architect." From (EMvres de Philibert de V Orme 1 80 

** The Bad Architect." From (Euvres de Philibert de VOrme 1 87 

Tailpiece from De TOrme, (Euvres 190 

Block Plan of Fontainebleau 1 94 

Diagrams from De rOrme 219 


1. Le origini delta Architettura Lombarda, By G, T. Rivoira. 

Vol. i. Rome : Loescher, 1901. 

2. The Monastery of St. Luke of Stiris in Phocis, By R. W. Schultz 

and S. H. Barnsley. London : Macmillan, 1901. 

3. The Church of Sancta Sophia^ Constantinople. By W. R. Lethaby 

and Harold Swainson. London : Macmillan, 1894. 

4. Architecture in Italy from the Sixth to the Eleventh Century. By 

R. Cattaneo. Translated by Countess Isabel Curtis-Choi m el ey 
in Bermani. London : Fisher Unwin, 1896. 

5. 77fe Cathedral Builders. By Leader Scott. Second edition. 

London : Sampson Low, 1899. 

Modern architecture seems incapable of progress except 
in a circle. A hundred years ago we exhausted our 
classical tradition ; and the study of Gothic architecture 
was taken up with a fervour that developed into a sort 
of religious mania. Enthusiasts were to be found in 
the last generation who hoped to realise their dream 
of a universal Gothic architecture, and of a return to 
those halcyon days when builder and architect were 
rolled into one, when everybody was honest, and all 
the moral virtues were to be found in the exercise of 
the building trades. But, just when the prize seemed 
within their reach, their dream was rudely shattered ; 
golden calves were set up from Dan even to Beer- 
sheba ; and every architect became a law to himself. 


A few men who were brought up in Gothic, but saw 
the absurdity of its modern practice, have gone back 
a stage farther, and have transferred their studies to 
that obscure period which preceded the art of mediaeval 
Europe. But one stage more, and we shall be back in 
Roman architecture ; and so the circle will complete 
itself, and we shall be able to begin again, enriched by 
the experience of a hundred years of failure. 

The history of post-Roman architecture is still 
exceedingly obscure, so much so that the amateur has 
felt himself free to offer the most fantastic theories on 
the subject. Mr. Ruskin, for instance, found the 
origin of Lombardic art in the carnivorous appetite 
of the Lombard. It is a great advance on these 
literary exercises that the historical method should be 
applied to the study of architecture, and that theories 
evolved from the inner consciousness of emotional 
writers are being replaced by the patient study of 
buildings and documents. 

It is from this point of view that Signor Rivoira's 
book is welcome. Italian antiquaries have for a 
considerable time been at work on the early architecture 
of Italy after the break-up of the Roman Empire. So 
long ago as 1829 Cordero published his work, Deir 
Italiana Architettura durante la dominazione longobarda. 
Selvatico, Garrucci, and others followed, and more 
recently RafFaele Cattaneo. The bibliography of the 
subject is already attaining large proportions, without, 
however, any great progress being made, since the 
best efforts of each Italian scholar are directed to de- 
molishing the work of his predecessor. Signor Rivoira 


himself sets about the business with characteristic 
energy, and points out that previous writers have 
been too apt to follow each other, and too fond of 
theorising without consideration of the buildings. 
Indeed, he says, somewhat bluntly, that they are often 
tripped up by " un entusiasmo, che talvolta fa ostacolo 
alia scrupolosa veridicita." Signor Rivoira himself is 
not entirely beyond a suspicion of straining his evidence ; 
but he has approached his subject with a genuine 
passion for research, and, though it may be impossible 
to accept all his conclusions, he has spared no labour 
in collecting and presenting the materials of his 
great undertaking. Only the first volume of his 
work, which is splendidly illustrated, is at present 
issued. It deals with architecture down to the eleventh 
century. This period, however, includes some of the 
most thorny points of the controversy ; and the real 
problem at issue is the historical explanation of post- 
Roman architecture both in the West and the East 
during this period. It is with the architecture of the 
West that Signor Rivoira concerns himself, and as to 
this he has a very definite theory. His thesis is to 
show that western architecture in the eleventh and 
twelfth centuries (generally known as Romanesque) is 
derived, through Lombardic architecture, and what he 
differentiates as pre-Lombardic architecture, from the 
work of Italians at Ravenna in the fifth century a.d. 
These Italians he assumes to have been Lombards who 
accompanied Honorius from Milan ; and, though he 
does not state it explicitly, he implies the direct artistic 
descent of these Italian designers from the architects 


and builders of Imperial Rome. In this way he pro- 
poses to show that the continuity of descent was not 
broken, and that the architecture of the tenth and 
eleventh centuries, the potential source of such tre- 
mendous developments, was in fact the creation of Italy, 
not of Byzantium. 

In 404, after Alaric's invasion, Honorius retired 
from Milan to Ravenna, and from this date till the 
middle of the eighth century Ravenna was regarded as 
the seat of government and the capital of Italy. It is 
at this point, that is to say, at the date of Honorius' 
flight to Ravenna, that Signor Rivoira begins his study. 
It is, he says, at least probable that the artists and 
artificers of Milan accompanied the Court to Ravenna ; 
and great activity in building prevailed there between 
404 and 476. Amongst other buildings, S. Agata was 
built between 425 and 432, S. Giovanni Evangelista in 
425, S. Pier Crisologo between 435 and 449, the tomb 
of Galla Placidia in 440, and the baptistery of Neone 
between 449 and 458. All these buildings illustrate 
what Signor Rivoira calls " the Romano-Ravennese 
style V ; and he sums up its characteristics as consisting, 
first, in the decorative use of blind arcading ; that is to 
say, of a series of merely decorative arches on corbels 
carried round the exteriors of buildings, and further 
developed by the use of flat pilasters dividing the arcade 
into bays ; secondly, in the use of the puhinar. This 
was a block of stone, square in plan and sloping out- 
wards from its base, which was placed on the top of the 
abacus of the capital and received directly the springer 
of the arch. It may or may not have been an abstract 


expression of the fragment of entablature which the 
Roman builders used above their capitals. More prob- 
ably it was an original idea worked out in construction 
in order to get a bed for the arcade of equal thickness 
with the wall, without regard to the dimensions of the 
shaft underneath. The first example of its use, accord- 
ing to Signor Rivoira, is in S. Giovanni Evangelista ; 
and he therefore concludes that the Byzantine borrowed 
it from the Ravennese, and not vice versa ; and that, 
when it occurs in buildings dated earlier than the 
Ravennese buildings, these buildings are wrongly 

From the beautiful little sepulchral chapel of Galla 
Placidia (440) and the baptistery of Neone further 
evidence is drawn as to the originality of the Ravennese. 
The tomb of Galla Placidia is planned as a Latin cross 
with barrel arches over the four arms and a hemi- 
spherical dome over the crossing. The problem, as 
usual, was to get from the square to the circle of the 
dome. The Ravennese did this in a very artless way, 
by letting the dome intersect the four sides and run out 
its full extent downwards in the angles, finally retiring 
to the square by oversailing courses ; that is to say, 
the pendentives employed by the Roman builders were 
not used at all. In the baptistery of Neone the 
difficulty was less, inasmuch as the dome in this 
building surmounts an octagon ; but the problem was 
slurred over, rather than met, by " cooking *' the 
planes of the arches. The dome of this building was 
constructed of rows of terra-cotta pipes shaped to fit 
into each other. Signor Rivoira says this is the first 


example of its use ; we shall find it in another shape 
in the church of San Vitale. 

A fresh impetus was given to building at Ravenna 
by Theodoric (495-526). In his reign the great basilica 
of S, Apollinare Nuovo was built — according to Signor 
Rivoira by Ravennese builders, helped by Byzantine 
sculptors for the carving — and Theodoric was buried in 
a most amazing mausoleum, built, according to our 
author, about 520, and consisting of a sort of tower 
raised on a lower story, decagonal in plan, the whole 
covered in by a flat cupola worked out of a single piece 
of Istrian stone nine metres in diameter and one metre 
thick. Gibbon, by the way, states that four columns 
rose from the centre of the dome supporting a vase of 
porphyry, in which were placed the remains of the 
king, and that these were surrounded by the brazen 
statues of the twelve apostles. There are no remains 
of this, unless the existing acroteria on the cupola were 
bases for these figures. Signor Rivoira suggests that 
these were handles for lifting the cupola into place, but 
this is most unlikely. 

We now come to the most remarkable building in 
Ravenna, the famous church of San Vitale (526-547). 
The plan of this church consists of two concentric 
octagons. The inner octagon is carried above the 
outer and covered with a conical dome constructed of 
amphora ^ fixed in each other in rows. The thrust is 
thus reduced to a minimum, and what there is is met by 
the walls only, without any buttresses to the angles of 

^ In the tomb of Galla Placidia there are two amphorae found on the site, and 
measuring (i) 2 ft. lo in. x 4^ in. diameter ; {%) 3 ft. 6 in. x 7 in. 

View looking N.E. 


the upper octagon. The peculiarity of the plan is that 
on each side of the inner octagon, with the exception 
of the side leading to the apse, are practised exhedra^ 
recesses semicircular in plan, with two detached columns 
separating them from the outer aisle. The idea of this 
plan Signor Rivoira considers to have been taken from 
two sources — (i) from such buildings as the Battistero 
di Neone ; (2) from the ruins of the Nymphaeum in the 
Licinian Gardens at Rome ; and he considers this as an 
example of " Byzantine-Ravennese " architecture, that 
is, of the work of Italians educated at Byzantium, and 
not of Byzantine artists. The distinction is a some- 
what subtle one. Italians educated at Byzantium 
learnt their business from Byzantine designers and re- 
produced their architectural methods ; and even if the 
builders of San Vitale were Italians, this would not 
alter the fact that the design to which they were 
working was Byzantine. Elsewhere he admits the 
possibility of an eastern origin, but finally adheres to 
his opinion that the church was designed and built by 
artists of the Ravennese school, and that the decoration 
only was executed by Greeks — a theory which appears 
to us entirely to miss the very real and far-reaching 
difference that exists between Byzantine architecture 
and Romanesque.^ 

In the year 553 the Gothic kingdom of Italy 
was overthrown and succeeded by the exarchate of 
Ravenna, and Italy was in a terrible state. According 
to Procopius, quoted by Gibbon, the twenty years of 

^ The diversity in kind that there is between S. Vitale at Ravenna and the 
basilica of S. ApoUinare Nuovo. 


the Gothic war cost Italy something like fifteen or 
sixteen million lives. In 568 Alboin with his Lombards 
conquered the greater part of Italy. Alboin made 
Pavia his capital ; and the glory of Ravenna was 
departing. Her workmen lost themselves among the 
new barbarians who dominated the north of Italy ; and 
from this time forward there is little to show at Ravenna 
itself. We have to look for the influence of its school 
outside the territory of the exarchate, and more 
particularly in the kingdom of the Lombards. 

Before, however, entering on this investigation, 
Signor Rivoira makes a digression on "the Comacine 
masters." This very obscure body of workmen — and 
even this phrase involves an assumption as yet unproved 
by evidence — lately received a quite disproportionate 
amount of attention. In a book entitled The Cathedral 
Builders^ English readers were introduced to the theory 
of an Italian archaeologist, that the Comacine masters 
were a guild, and that we have in this guild the 
explanation of all the mediaeval cathedrals of Europe. 
The evidence for this astounding theory was originally 
collected by the late Professor Giuseppe Merzario of 
Milan ; but the writer of The Cathedral Builders went 
far beyond the evidence. In this author's opinion " all 
that was architecturally good in Italy during the dark 
centuries between 500 and 1200 a.d. was due to the 
Comacine masters or to their influence." St. Mark's 
at Venice was architecturally good, and so was San 
Vitale at Ravenna. Both were built between 500 and 
1200 A.D., and they must therefore be swept into the 
same net as S. Michele at Pavia and S. Agnese at 


Rome. The writer, indeed, starts with the assumption 
that Cologne and Strassburg, Westminster and York, 
the Duomo of Florence, the churches of Tours and 
Rouen, "all came almost simultaneously, like sister 
buildings, with one impronto on them all." A writer 
who can find one impronto on all these mediseval churches 
will find anything ; and we are not surprised that 
" Leader Scott " has found a short and easy explanation 
of mediaeval architecture worthy of the inventor of the 
Shakespeare cryptogram. The occurrence of the term 
" magister " in any description of a building is regarded 
as sufficient to warrant the assumption that the 
" magister " must be a Comacine master, and therefore 
that the " magistri Comacini " designed the building in 

It is refreshing to turn to the sober historical 
summary of Signor Rivoira, who states in half-a-dozen 
pages all that is known of the Comacine masters. The 
name ** magistri Comacini " first appears in certain laws 
of the Lombard king Rotari (636-652) as having full 
power to make contracts and sub-contracts for building 
works ; and the name appears again in a schedule of 
pay of the Comacini under King Liutprand (712-743). 
The name " Comacine " is probably derived from the 
fact that these men came from the shores of Lake 
Como, where they worked and provided building 
materials for the cities of the plain ; and it is probable 
that they were one of the guilds or " scuole " which 
had survived from the days of Imperial Rome. It is 
well known that there existed in Rome guilds or 
associations of tradesmen and professional men and 


others ; but to build on this slender foundation an 
elaborate theory of a guild of Freemasons, who carried 
on the Roman tradition of building and gradually 
developed out of it the various phases of mediseval 
architecture, is simply to play with history. 

Signor Rivoira passes on to the scanty remains of 
pre-Lombardic architecture in the latter part of the 
sixth century, and the seventh and eighth centuries, 
down to the time of Charlemagne. Scarcely any well- 
authenticated specimens of this period remain. The 
earlier Lombards were in the habit of sacking cities 
and burning their churches wherever they went ; and it 
was not till the time of Autari, and more particularly of 
Theodolinda (590-625), that the Lombard rulers found 
that they conciliated their subjects more effectually by 
rebuilding their churches than by pulling them down. 
Part of S. Salvatore at Brescia (753), S. Maria della 
Caccie at Pavia (744-749), S. Maria in Valle at Civi- 
dale, the parish church of Arliano near Lucca, and the 
church of San Pietro in Toscanella, seem to be the only 
examples left of what Signor Rivoira, at the risk of 
some confusion, calls pre-Lombardic architecture ; that 
is, of the architecture practised under the Lombard 
kings, which developed into what is generally known 
as Lombard architecture, and as such spread over 
Western Europe till it, in its turn, grew into and was 
superseded by the architecture of the pointed arch. 

Of the churches named the most important is that 
of San Pietro in Toscanella. This great church stands 
in splendid solitude on a hill outside the city, the site 
of an ancient citadel. It is built on the basilica plan 


with a very deep presbytery. Its detail is quite rudi- 
mentary, but there is a certain fortress- like quality 
about the building, and a feeling for broad masses of 
masonry, which give one a favourable impression of the 
instincts of these early builders. Signor Rivoira sums 
up the characteristic features of pre-Lombardic work, 
that is, of work prior to the ninth century, as consist- 
ing in (i) the use of half-columns and engaged pilasters, 
singly and in couples ; (2) the use of rough colonnettes 
of marble with caps and bases made out of a single 
block, and capitals of the roughest and most ignorant 
description, merely hollowed off at the angles and 
scratched on the face ; (3) the use of blind arcading as 
a decorative feature on the interiors as well as the 
exteriors of buildings ; (4) what he calls a '* veramente 
geniale " method of ornament, consisting in a free use 
of rudimentary sculpture, with such motives as inter- 
lacing patterns of what are apparently intended for 
palms, vine-leaves, lilies, roses, grapes, birds pecking at 
fruit, fish, serpents, lions, bulls, griffins, and the like, 
all executed in low relief, and, to any but a sworn 
admirer of archaic work, childish both in design and 

We now reach the architecture of the ninth century, 
beginning with Charlemagne's famous church at Aix- 
la-Chapelle. Signor Rivoira contends that this church 
was merely a copy of San Vitale at Ravenna, and that 
it was carried out by Ravennese and Comacine builders, 
helped by Franks. In other words, he maintains that 
this church was an exotic, much too full of difficulties 
to be understood by the local builders, with the result 


that its influence on Western architecture was foca 
cosa^ and that it did not interrupt the development of 
the western tradition based on the basilica plan. Mean- 
while the Ravennese had found a fresh field for their 
activity on the eastern side of the Adriatic. The ex- 
archate of Ravenna came to an end in 752, and the 
prefects of the Adriatic transferred their seat of power 
to Zara in Dalmatia. One result of this was the 
remarkable series of Dalmatian churches erected in the 
ninth and tenth centuries.^ In 804 Donato, Bishop of 
Zara, journeyed with Beato, Doge of Venice, to Con- 
stantinople to meet Nicephorus, and in the same year 
they proceeded to Thionville to meet Charlemagne. It 
is probable that they saw St. Sophia and San Vitale and 
the cathedral at Aix-la-Chapelle ; and Signor Rivoira 
assumes that as the result of their mission the church of 
San Donato at Zara was built to commemorate the 
peace between Charlemagne and Nicephorus. He 
argues further that it was built by Ravennese builders, 
on account (i) of its construction, (2) the conical form 
of the original cupola, (3) the position of the nartheXy (4) 
the use of blind arcading as a decorative feature instead 
of the usual Greek method of various patterns in brick 
and stone. As to Dalmatian buildings of the tenth, 
eleventh, and twelfth centuries, he contends that these 
were only copies of Ravennese work. Here we leave 
the Ravennese, and are taken back in the concluding 
chapter to pre-Lombardic architecture, ranging from 
the time of Charlemagne till the appearance of the 
Lombard style in the eleventh century ; and the story 

^ See Dalmatia^ the S^uamero^ and Istria^ by T. G. Jackson, R.A. 


is taken up with the great church of St. Ambrose at 

Sant' Ambrogio is one of the most important 
examples of matured Lombard architecture ; and the 
question of its date is discussed with characteristic 
energy by Italian archaeologists. Signor Rivoira's 
opinion is that the building is of various dates ranging 
from 789 to 1 07 1. The spur or claw at the angle of 
the bases of the columns is found in this church for the 
first time, and on the exterior of the central apse is a 
deep recessed arcade high up under the cornice, in 
which Signor Rivoira finds the origin of the external 
gallery, with piers, as at S. Aquilino at Milan, or with 
columns, as at S. Giacomo at Como (1095-1117). 
The development of early Lombard work is traced in 
minute detail through a number of not very important 
Italian churches ; and Signor Rivoira concludes his 
survey with a statement of the principal features of 
Lombard architecture about the middle of the eleventh 
century. These are (i) the cap or funnel-shaped vault 
over square spaces ; (2) the articulation of the longitu- 
dinal transverse and diagonal arches in the interior of 
the vaulting ; (3) piers with heavy Lombard capitals 
and spurs at the angles of the bases ; (4) exterior 
buttresses corresponding with transverse arches ; (5) 
vaulted galleries over aisles to counteract the thrusts of 
the central vaults. The author admits that these 
features had been used individually elsewhere, but he 
claims for the Lombards that they gave to these 
elements new forms and functions, and united them in 
a new system both of statics and decoration, which 


obtained its efFect by means of the frank and scientific 
statement of the construction itself Such a system, he 
says, existed neither in the East nor in the West before 
the year looo. 

I owe the reader some apology for this lengthy 
account of Signor Rivoira's position. His method, 
however, has rendered such a statement inevitable, and 
though one gratefully recognises his zeal and industry, 
and the valuable material of his work, that method 
seems to suffer from a fault not uncommon in modern 
Italian archaeological research. Italian antiquaries seem 
unduly fond of the microscope. They pore over 
details of sculpture and mouldings with too little 
attention to larger principles of classification. For 
instance, Signor Rivoira gives us long disquisitions on 
the carving of capitals and other fragments, with the 
object of showing that they were or were not by 
Ravennese or Byzantines ; but such disquisitions are 
hardly convincing in view of the fact that nearly all 
builders, at any rate in Italy during this period, used 
any capital they could lay hands on for any column ; 
and it is highly probable that many of the capitals 
were imported ready-made from Byzantium. Signor 
Rivoira very properly criticises Cattaneo for founding 
his argument almost exclusively on details of sculpture, 
but he hardly escapes the same condemnation himself. 
With the exception of some remarks on the use of 
pendentives by the Ravennese, and some hazy refer- 
ences to the presence or absence of buttresses, we find 
in his work too little attention given to plan and con- 
struction. It is here that the hand of the amateur is 


apparent ; for architecture is a difficult subject, and 
this aspect of it can only be handled by architects. 

Mere assertion, of which Signor Rivoira is rather 
fond, is not argument. In the case both of the puhinar 
and of the churches of Dalmatia certain awkward dates 
appear to conflict with the Italian theory, but the author 
cuts the knot by stating that the dates are wrong. So, 
again, he says that the use of terra-cotta tubes, as found 
in San Vitale, first occurs in the baptistery of Neone 
(449-458) ; but in fact the use of amphorae to lighten 
the thrust was a Roman device, and there is an instance 
in the palace of Caligula at Rome. We do not know 
on what authority the tomb of Theodoric is dated 
520 A.D. Theodoric died in 526, and his monument is 
said to have been put up by his daughter, Amalasuntha, 
after his death. The masonry, which is built dry and 
is very well executed, is quite unlike any other work in 
Ravenna, and probably indicates the handiwork of a 
Syrian builder. It bears the very slightest resemblance 
to the hypogeum which Signor Rivoira suggests as its 
origin. Again, even if the plan of San Vitale was 
based on the baptistery of Neone, and on the Nym- 
phaeum in the Licinian Gardens, it would not follow 
that the building was designed by Ravennese, as Signor 
Rivoira asserts. 

The Byzantines were quite as familiar with plans such 
as that of the Nymphaeum as any Italians of the time, 
and the author seems to forget that the remains of 
the classical architecture of Rome were the common 
property of the heirs of the Roman Empire. What 
was not common property was the tradition of con- 


structive skill which the Byzantines alone seem to have 
preserved ; and it is on the ground of this known con- 
structive skill, as proved by their building, that we 
attribute to the Byzantines vaulted buildings, of which, 
in its way, San Vitale is a typical instance. But the 
Byzantine architects were gradually drawing away from 
Roman architecture ; and it is hard to say what splendid 
developments might not have been reached had not this 
slender thread of art been snapt in the stress of jarring 

Signor Rivoira seems to be misled into classifying 
San Vitale as Italian by the fact that it stands on Italian 
ground. His argument indeed suffers from a some- 
what excessive patriotism. To his mind Italy still 
appears as the home of civilisation and the arts from the 
fifth to the tenth century ; but, in fact, their home may 
be said to have been almost anywhere but in Italy 
during those troublous times. The centre of Roman 
civilisation had shifted to Byzantium. In the eastern 
provinces of the Empire there seems to have survived, 
from the early days of Imperial Rome till the time of 
Chosroes' invasion of Syria, a stable civilisation, the 
existence of which is attested by the remains of the 
remarkable architecture of Syria. In the West the 
civilisation of southern France dated from the early 
days of the Empire, and during at any rate the former 
part of this period the Greeks of Asia Minor and the 
^gean maintained an easy and undisputed pre-eminence 
in all the arts. Even so late as 796, when Charlemagne 
wished to erect his monumental church, he seems to 
have sent to Byzantium for his architects, much as, some 


seven hundred years later, Francis I. sent to Italy for 
II Rosso and Primaticcio. Meanwhile, what was the 
state of the arts in Italy ? After the transfer of the 
Empire to Byzantium it was a record of steady lapse 
into primeval barbarism. 

Signor Rivoira lays some stress on what he considers 
the development of vaulting, as shown in the tomb of 
Galla Placidia and the baptistery of Neone ; but, after 
all, his contention only amounts to this, that the Roman 
method of getting from the square to the round of the 
cupola by means of pendentives had been lost, and that 
the builders had to blunder through the difficulty as 
best they could. Consider again the mausoleum of 
Theodoric, with its monolith cupola. No theory is 
offered of this astounding construction ; but it seems 
to me that it is to be explained by the strong-willed 
ignorance of the builders. They had lost all knowledge 
of Roman concrete vaulting ; yet the building had to 
be covered with a cupola of some sort, a cupola too, if 
Gibbon's story is right, that would have to carry con- 
siderable weight without thrust. So the cupola was hewn 
out of a single stone, much as in primitive oratories of 
the far west, built by men who had lost the secret of the 
arch, we see round-headed windows preserving the form, 
without the construction, of the arch. There is some- 
thing magnificent in the brute force that overcame the 
difficulty, but it is the barbarism of the Pyramids over 
again. One has only to glance through Signor Rivoira's 
illustrations to trace the ignorance of the Italians grow- 
ing denser and darker as they lost touch of the art 
of Imperial Rome. Caps and columns taken from old 


buildings and pitchforked into new just as they came 
to hand, classical details used upside down, carving 
such as a child might scratch on a piece of chalk — such 
were the contributions of Italians to architecture from 
the fifth to the tenth century. Underneath, indeed, a 
new and turbulent spirit was struggling for utterance in 
a helpless inarticulate way — the spirit of the northern 
Barbarians, who did in fact introduce a new and vital 
feeling, which later on was to shape their architecture 
anew and differentiate it from the architecture of the 
older world. On the west door of Sant' Ambrogio at 
Milan there are certain shafts carrying the arch-moulds 
which are decorated with a reticulated pattern based on 
the guilloche ; but the upper part of one of the shafts 
on the right begins within a device of sculptured beasts 
clinging to the shaft and eating each other, which stops 
abruptly, and the decoration continues with a flat cross- 
and-cable moulding down the centre of the shaft. One 
would like to know the meaning of this. Was 
" Master Adam " the sculptor stopped in mid-career by 
a scandalised clergy ? or was it that, as he neared the 
end of his task, the primitive savage broke loose, and 
for the first time the personal note of the northern 
races was sounded ? On this aspect, however, of the 
contribution of the northern races to modern architecture 
Signor Rivoira says little or nothing. 

To my mind the vital distinction between styles and 
periods of architecture is to be found not so much in 
det^ls as in planning and construction, in the under- 
lying thought. We do not find any such principle of 
classification laid down in Signor Rivoira^s work. In 


his anxiety to find the origin of mediaeval architecture 
in Italy he sweeps into his net such different buildings 
as S. ApoUinare and San Vitale at Ravenna ; in other 
words, he claims a single origin for the basilica plan of 
the western church and the totally different plan of the 
domed church of the East. The materials which Signor 
Rivoira has collected illustrate in a remarkable manner 
the emergence of the Lombardic church of the tenth 
century based on the basilica plan. His contention 
that this was Italian in origin, and further, that it was 
to a large extent the precursor of western Romanesque, 
is on the whole convincing ; but unfortunately he has 
darkened his argument by the introduction of buildings 
of a different origin and nature. He has yielded to 
the temptation to magnify the modest achievements of 
the Italian and of the Lombard by claiming for them 
some share in the discovery of that great constructional 
system of which St. Sophia is the most magnificent 
expression. Such a claim is not borne out by the facts ; 
and it is one of the tragedies of the history of archi- 
tecture that the great achievement of mature Byzantine 
architecture was never followed up, and that the archi- 
tecture of Western Europe, with the exception of a few 
isolated efforts, proceeded along the lower lines laid 
down by the Lombard builders. Other influences must 
of course be included as the architecture of the pointed 
arch developed ; but among these influences the domed 
construction of the Byzantine architects, as we find it 
at St. Sophia, can hardly be reckoned ; their perfect art 
died away in the farther East without returning to 
illuminate the laborious path of western architecture. 


Purely Italian architecture, in fact, never recovered 
from the transfer of the capital to Byzantium. The 
best artistic ability of the Empire followed the court ; 
and the Italians were left with their basilica plan, and 
what they could make of the monuments of Imperial 
Rome. It is evident that they soon lost all compre- 
hension of the latter, so much so indeed that not only 
were they unable to copy these monuments, but they 
even lost the faculty of putting their fragments to- 
gether. Meanwhile, in the Eastern Empire, an extra- 
ordinary development of architecture was taking place. 
The Romans had mastered the science of covering 
great spaces with concrete vaults of immense strength 
and tenacity. Their system was independent of 
buttresses ; whfen the concrete had once set it 
exercised no more lateral thrust than an inverted saucer. 
The idea therefore of a great domed covering was 
familiar to the builders of the Eastern Empire. Roman 
concrete, however, was not to be made out of Italy, or 
else the builders had lost the secret of using it ; they 
therefore made their vaults of brick, and this set up a 
thrust which had to be met by an elaborate system of 
arch and counter-arch. The ability of the Greeks was 
equal to the task, and they devised the splendid system 
of construction carried out in such churches as St. Sophia, 
and in the church of the Holy Apostles, now destroyed. 
The important point is that the East, and not the West, 
was the real home of this dome construction. Churches 
with central domes are of course to be found in the 
West ; San Vitale at Ravenna, for instance, and Char- 
lemagne's church at Aix-la-Chapelle. Even so late as 


the middle of the eleventh century we find the Byzan- 
tine influence in St. Mark's at Venice, and in St. 
Front at Perigueux. But all these instances are 
sporadic in the West, and their Byzantine origin can 
be clearly traced. These buildings lay outside the 
normal line of slow development, and in the earlier 
examples were the monuments of some exultant 
conqueror rather than the spontaneous outcome of 
indigenous architecture. The lead given in St. Sophia 
was not taken up, for the plain reason that it required a 
mastery of construction beyond the reach of any builder 
or artificer in Western Europe. 

It was to trace this wonderful chapter of architectural 
history, and to rescue some fragments fi-om the wreck 
of a great idea, that the able studies of Mr. Lethaby 
and Mr. Swainson were undertaken. The method 
adopted by the writers was unusual, and they hardly 
did justice to themselves, for they concealed their 
researches behind a long array of other writers, with 
the result that their personal criticisms and appreciations 
have to be unearthed out of extracts from Paul the 
Silentiary, a certain anonymous writer of the twelfth (?) 
century, Salzenberg (who wrote about fifty years ago), and 
others. The authors seem to have feared the pitfall of the 
guide-book, but they avoided it at the cost of clear and 
lucid arrangement, and the mass of material collected 
makes their account by no means easy to follow, in the 
absence of adequate illustrations. But, apart from this 
deficiency, the work of Messrs. Lethaby and Swainson is 
a valuable contribution to our knowledge of Byzantine 
art. The authors were in love with their subject, and 


they have succeeded in conveying a certain cumulative 
impression of the surpassing fascination of St. Sophia. 
They evidently held that St. Sophia is not to be studied 
lightly, for they deliberately and exhaustively quartered 
the ground, giving, in the result, a vivid impression 
of the extraordinary art of the time of Justinian, an 
art which displayed a vigour of intellect and freedom 
from pedantry all the more remarkable in that it 
occurred at a period when the empire was far down 
the road of its long decline. 

The church of St. Sophia, as it now exists, was the 
second building on the site ; and, with the doubtful 
exception of the circular brick building to the N.E. 
of the church, there are practically no remains of 
Constantine's church, which appears to have been of 
moderate size with a wooden roof. The old materials 
were no doubt used again by Justinian's builders, and 
fragments may be traced here and there. Constantine 
appears to have begun his church about 328 a.d.; and 
the building was dedicated by the Emperor Constantius 
in 360. It was burnt in 404, and restored by Theo- 
dosius IL in 415. In 532 the church was burnt to the 
ground in the Nika outbreak ; and Justinian at once 
set to work to rebuild it on the original site. The 
account of the anonymous writer, which Messrs. Lethaby 
and Swainson assign to the twelfth century, gives the 
various legends which gradually grew up round the 
building of the church — how Justinian spent seven 
years and a half in collecting his marble columns ; how 
he pulled down the remains of Constantine*s church, 
and obtained possession of the adjoining properties by 


methods the unscrupulous cunning of which appeared 
to the anonymous writer not less admirable than the 
piety of their intention ; how, too, when the architects 
and builders were at a standstill, miraculous personages 
appeared to settle the difficulty ; how ten thousand men 
were employed on the building in two hundred bands 
of fifty men each, divided equally between the two 
sides ; and finally, how, when the church was completed, 
the builders filled it up with water five cubits deep, and 
threw down the centering and scaffolding on to the 
water in order not to injure the walls and floors. The 
actual facts known about the building are very scanty. 

The old church was destroyed in 532 ; the new 
church was begun at once, and probably completed 
about 537. The architects were Anthemius of Tralles, 
and Isidorus of Miletus, " /w/p^ai/o^ro*©?," the inginieur 
of the sixteenth century — both, it will be noted, Greeks 
of Asia Minor. The plan they devised was one of the 
most original ever adopted in any church in Christen- 
dom ; and its exact genesis is still obscure. No doubt, 
each of its component parts can be traced back to 
details to be found in the Roman baths ; and the general 
block-plan was certainly governed by the necessity of 
adhering to the site of the original church, a matter of 
absolute importance in early Christian times. Yet 
these alone will not account for the architectural con- 
ception of the building ; and the unexplained residuum 
must be set down to the genius of these late Greek 
architects, who, instead of copying and falling below 
the level of the Roman builders, wrought upon what 
they had left, and developed a form of construction till 


then unparalleled in the history of the world. Messrs. 
Lethaby and Swainson describe the process as 

the re-orientalisation of classic art, the linking of simple 
massive Roman building to a new decoration, vividly alive and 
inventive, frank, bright and full of colour, and yet as rational 
in its choice and application as the construction. In the 
modern sense the Romans may be said to have invented 
building, and the Byzantine Greeks architecture. 

The description would be a good one, except for the 
fallacy of the last sentence, which reverts to the deeply 
rooted heresy of English writers on architecture, unfor- 
tunately supported by Mr. Ruskin, that building does 
not become architecture till it is ornamented. The 
real achievement of these Byzantine Greeks was not in 
their decorative detail, beautiful though this was, but in 
their mastery of constructional form, their power of 
handling great masses of building — a power inherited 
from the Roman builders, yet transported by the finesse 
and subtlety of Greek genius into the fairyland of 
poetry.* The strength of Rome is there tempered by 
the intellectual distinction of the Greek. St. Sophia 
is the culminating point of ancient art, the point at 
which for once in the history of art the East and West 
joined hands. 

^ It has been asserted that the contribution of Byzantine art to civilisation was 
colour decoration, and that this not only controlled Byzantine architecture but was 
its causa eausans. This is surely putting the cart before the horse. Byzantine 
architecture was brick construction at its highest development. Following the 
Roman tradition, the Byzantines used brickwork as a servant only, and the next 
problem was the best method of clothing a material which did not appeal to them in 
itself and did not admit of ornamentation that seemed to them worth doing. They 
clothed their brickwork with marbles and mosaics. In other words, their methods 
and materials of construction necessitated flat surface decoration, colour rather than 
sculpture. The totally different decorative results developed by a freestone 
architecture are evident in any northern Gothic cathedral. 


The general plan of the building is an oblong, 
divided into a central nave, with side aisles in three 
divisions and two stories high, and a narthex at the west 
end opening on to an atrium or cloister court ; but an 
amazing wealth of fancy is displayed in the treatment 
in detail. The central mass is formed of a square with 
piers at the four angles, supporting the four great 
arches which carry the central dome on pendentives. 
The north and south arches are filled in with arcades on 
the ground and gallery floor, and with windows in the 
arch above the gallery. The east and west arches are 
open. The east arch opens into a great semi-dome ; 
and on the axis line of the church, east and west, is a 
smaller semicircular arch opening to a semicircular apse 
which forms the central apse at the east end. This 
central apse is flanked on either side by two semicircular 
recesses or exhedra taken out of the north-eastern and 
south-eastern sides of the semicircle under the great 
semi -dome, and formed with two detached columns 
on the line of the exhedra^ instead of a continuous wall. 
The west end is similar to the east, except that, instead 
of the central apse, there is a rectangular space for the 
entrance leading into the narthex^ and again through 
the narthex to the atrium. On either side of the central 
nave are aisles divided into three compartments by the 
main buttress walls of the east and west arches, and 
further subdivided by columns to support a most in- 
genious system of vaulting to the gynaceum galleries 
above, so arranged as not to interfere with the main 
order of columns on the north and south sides of the 
nave. Underneath the building are water-cisterns said 


to be 23 feet 6 inches from floor to ceiling, the floor 
over being carried on brick vaulting on piers 4 feet 
6 inches square set 12 feet apart. The building was 
constructed mainly of brick and a sort of peperino 
stone, used chiefly for those portions of it which 
have to stand great pressure, such as the four nave 
piers ; and Mr. Lethaby says that a horizontal course 
2 feet deep runs round the whole building 4 feet 
above the floor. The outside walls and vaulting 
are entirely of bricks, of an average size of about 
14 inches long by 2 inches thick, while the bricks 
at the base of the dome are 27 inches long by 2 
inches thick. 

A few dimensions will give some idea of the size of 
the building. The central dome covers a space 106 
feet square, the east and west arches measuring 100 feet 
clear span. The height from the floor to the springing 
of the great arches is 73 feet, and the arches are about 
5 feet deep from upper to lower surface. The main 
columns of the nave on the ground floor are of verde- 
antique marble 25 feet 6 inches high, with a diameter 
of 3 feet 7 inches ; and the total height, including base 
and capital, is 33 feet 6 inches. The external walls 
are about 70 feet high, and the external measurements 
of the oblong plan give a length of about 295 feet and 
a width of 235 feet. 

The whole of the interior was profusely decorated 
with marble and mosaic. Green marble was brought 
from Carystus, rose and white from Phrygia, porphyry 
from the Nile, emerald -green from Sparta, blood-red 
and white from the lassian hills and the "Lydian 

View of Interior. From a Drawing by J. B. Fulton. 


creek," "stone of crocus colour" (says the Silentiary), 
"glittering like gold," from the hills of the Moors, 
crystals from the Celtic crags, and onyx stones and 
marbles from the land of Atrax, " in parts fresh green 
as the sea or emerald stone, or again like blue corn- 
flowers in grass, with here and there a drift of fallen 
snow."^ The entire building was brilliantly lit by 
innumerable hanging lamps. Messrs. Lethaby and 
Swainson have a chapter (xi.) on the marble masonry of 
St. Sophia, dealing with the species of marble employed 
and with the methods of application. This chapter, 
with its classification of the various types of the 
Byzantine capital, which are well illustrated, is one of 
most valuable portions of the book. The writers 
suggest that Constantinople, at the time of the building 
of St. Sophia, was in fact a " marble-working centre 
from which sculptured marbles were dispersed to all 
parts of the Roman world." The town was particularly 
well suited for the purpose, not only because the best 
workmen of the world were assembled there at the time, 
but also on account of its proximity to easily accessible 
marble quarries. The exact resemblance of capitals 
found in widely separated parts of the Empire, as for 
instance at Ravenna, at Rome, at Salonica, and else- 
where, makes this conclusion almost inevitable, and 
provides a reasonable explanation for what has been 
a dangerous stumbling-block to archaeologists. More- 
over, this theory justifies an observation made by the 
authors that, whereas in Italy and the West old shafts 
and capitals were used up just as they came to hand, 

^ Lethaby and Swainson. 


at Constantinople the Byzantines made their own shafts 

and capitals for their own purposes. 

Of the extraordinary wealth of St, Sophia there are 

many traditions. The iconostasis or screen, about 20 

feet high, was all of silver, and the altar-table was of 

gold ; indeed, the anonymous author states that its top 

was formed of gold and eighty different sorts of metals 

and precious stones melted down together into a single 

slab. Anthony, archbishop of Novgorod, who saw St. 

Sophia about the year 1200, says that the church 

possessed many sacred vessels from Jerusalem, the tables 

of the law, the ark, and the manna, the bronze trumpet 

of Joshua, and part of the marble curb of the well 

of Samaria. When the Crusaders captured and looted 

Constantinople in 1 203, one of them left it on record 


It is the belief of me, Geoffrey Villchardouin, Mar&:hal of 
Champagne, that the plunder of this city exceeded all that has 
been witnessed since the creation of the world. 

On the whole, however, the building has had an 
extraordinary life ; and the fabric has suffered little 
material change. Most of its injuries have been due 
to earthquakes. Procopius says the eastern arch gave 
way during the process of building ; and it is known 
that in 558 the eastern part of the dome and apse 
collapsed, destroying in its fall the altar and the 
ciborium. The work was rebuilt, with slight altera- 
tions, and consecrated in 563. The original architects 
were dead, and Isidorus the younger altered the con- 
struction. He appears to have increased the thickness 
of the north and south arches, and to have altered the 


section of the dome to a semicircle instead of a segment. 
As thus altered the building appears to have stood. In 
865 a belfry-tower was added, in the centre of the west 
side of the narthex^ and about this period various repairs 
to the building were carried out ; but in 975 the west 
arch and semi-dome fell in and were rebuilt. In 1 203 
the Crusaders occupied Constantinople, and the services 
of the Western Church were used in St. Sophia till 
1 26 1. On the recapture of the town various restora- 
tions were carried out by Michael Paleologus ; and 
early in the fourteenth century Andronicus Paleologus 
built the great eastern buttresses ; but apparently the 
eastern arch and the vaults immediately over it fell 
in, and were restored by Cantacuzenus after 1347. 
Accounts of the early part of the fifteenth century 
describe the church as partially ruinous ; and at the end 
of May 1453 the city fell into the hands of the Turks^ 
who stripped off what was left of the gold and silver, 
but appear to have respected the fabric. The four 
minarets were added by the Turks. The fabric was in 
a dangerous condition in 1 847, and considerable repairs 
were carried out by Fossati in that year. It was during 
these works that Salzenberg wrote his account for the 
Prussian Government, published in 1854. What with 
earthquakes, Turks, and Crusaders, the preservation of 
St. Sophia to the present day is little short of miraculous. 
St. Sophia is the best-known type of mature By- 
zantine work, but it is by no means the only one. 
Justinian also built the great church of the Holy 
Apostles, on the plan of a central square space covered 
by a dome, with four smaller domes over the four arms*^ 


This church was destroyed, and the only account left of 
it is that of Procopius ; but the design was imitated in 
the churches of St. Mark at Venice and St. Front at 
Perigueux. We have here an architectural conception 
scarcely inferior in interest to that of St. Sophia ; and it 
is evident that, while western art was relapsing into a 
state little removed from barbarism, as shown by the 
blundering efforts of Italian work of the time, the 
art of Byzantium maintained its vigorous vitality. It 
is a vain yet interesting speculation how, under other 
conditions, that art might have handed on a transmuted 
classical tradition to the modern world. 

I have pointed out above that the scope of such 
a building as St. Sophia was beyond the range of the 
western builders. In isolated cases churches were built 
in the West by Byzantines ; but the vernacular church- 
building of the West pursued its development on 
humbler lines, content with or rather unconscious of 
any but the most rudimentary methods, and incapable 
of any but the most timid and ignorant construction. 
In the East the artistic impulse of the age of Justinian 
gradually lost ground in the chaotic conflicts of the 
dark ages, but it appears to have survived as late at 
least as the tenth or eleventh century. Curiously 
enough, the finest examples are to be found no longer 
in Constantinople but in Greece. The church of the 
Hagia Theotokos, built at Constantinople at the end 
of the ninth century, is a feeble reflection of the 
soaring genius of the builders of St. Sophia. For the 
last traces of their influence we have to turn to the 
church of St. Nicodemus at Athens (tenth century) 


and the church of the monastery of Daphni, and more 
particularly the church of the monastery of St. Luke 
the Stiriote in Phocis, described and illustrated in the 
fine monograph of Messrs. Schultz and Barnsley. The 
authors made a complete study of this building in 
1890, and the results of their researches were published 
in 1 90 1 by the Committee of the British School of 

The monastery of St. Luke of Stiris stands on a spur 
of Mount Helicon, overlooking the Gulf of Corinth. 
It was founded in the tenth or eleventh century in 
honour of St. Luke the Stiriote, an ascetic of great 
reputation who was born in Macedonia in the latter 
part of the ninth century, and who, after various 
wanderings, settled at Phocis, and died there about 
946 A.D. The peculiarity of the monastery is that 
it possesses two churches, a larger and a smaller, 
partially attached to each other, and both built probably 
in the eleventh century. Tradition assigns them to 
the Emperor Romanus II. and his wife Theophano, in 
the years 959-963 ; and there is a legend, reminding 
one of the ten thousand workmen employed on St. 
Sophia, that " the commander of the Palatine guard " 
superintended the work, with eighty foremen, each 
foreman having under him eighty men. It is stated 
that on the great dam at Assouan the largest number 
of workmen employed at one time did not exceed six 
thousand men ; and it is difficult to suggest any origin 
for these legends of colossal labour, except the desire to 
magnify the importance of the church. Messrs. Schultz 
and Barnsley follow M. Diehl in dating the buildings 


from the early part of the eleventh century, and think 
that the great church was built first, and the smaller 
church, on the site of an older building, immediately 
afterwards. The churches (or at all events the larger 
church) contain some very beautiful architecture ; but 
it is to be noted, after all, that they are very small in 
scale. To compare them in any way with the heroic 
work of Justinian's architects seems rather absurd. The 
larger church, exclusive of the narthex and the pro- 
jection of the apse, measures externally only about 66 
feet in length by 54 feet in width. The height to the 
springing of the dome is 41 feet 6 inches. The 
diameter of the central dome is 29 feet. The smaller 
church is little more than a chapel. The constructional 
difficulties to be encountered were thus much slighter 
than those successfully dealt with by Justinian's archi- 
tects ; and, in spite of their intrinsic beauty, these 
buildings mark the slow decline of Byzantine art in the 

The two churches are good examples of two 
divergent methods of church-building which appeared 
in later Byzantine architecture. The larger church, 
dedicated to St. Luke, follows the type of building in 
which the large central square is covered by a wide 
dome, with slight projection above the roof, resting on 
eight arches on an octagon plan. The smaller church 
of the Theotokos follows the type of a central space, 
covered by a much smaller dome, raised on a circular 
drum rising high above the roof and carried on four 
detached columns. This little building is said to be in 
a more or less ruinous state, and, except for some fine 


marble pavements and some interesting detail on the 
outside, is of much less importance than the larger 
church. The authors are exercised over the problem 
why two different types of church should have been 
adopted on the same site and at the same time. A 
possible explanation is that as the smaller church of 
Phocis was dedicated to the Theotokos or Mother of 
God, it followed in plan and construction the church of 
the Theotokos at G)nstantinople, built towards the end 
of the ninth century. There are slight variations in 
detail, but the plan and construction are practically the 

From the architectural point of view, the smaller 
church is very inferior to the larger. The church of 
St. Luke of Stiris has a large central square space which 
is surrounded by twelve piers. The transition from the 
square to the circle covered in by the dome is effected 
by means of eight arches, one on each side, north, 
south, east, and west, and one across each angle on the 
diagonal lines. All the arches appear to be curved to 
the circle in plan, the spandrels forming pendentives, 
and the four angles are covered in with peculiarly 
shaped vaults working out from the square of the re- 
entering angles to the four arches taken across the 
angles on the diagonal lines. In the hemispherical 
dome are pierced sixteen windows. The outside face 
of the dome wall is in sixteen vertical piers, taken up 
about half the height of the dome. This extra weight 
helps to neutralise the thrust of the dome, which is met 
by the four arms of the church. The system of con- 
struction is at once exceedingly strong and very simple. 



Indeed it was the great achievement of this higher 
type of Byzantine architecture that it dispensed with all 
frippery of construction and ornament. The archi- 
tectural forms used are actually the constructive forms. 
There is no concealment behind orders and entab- 
latures and the other devices of revived classicism, 
none of that torturing of stone into crockets and 
buttresses and tracery which make a great deal of 
later Gothic ridiculous. The builder arrived at his 
forms by free play of the intellect, guided by fine 
artistic sense and an inestimable tradition, and then, 
without concealing or in any way altering his forms, 
he got his decorative effect by covering the flat surfaces 
with thin sheets of various marbles, and all the curved 
surfaces with mosaics. The efiect is inconceivably 
beautiful to an eye accustomed only to the interiors of 
Northern Gothic, and probably no church architecture 
has ever been devised in which means and ends have 
been adapted to each other with more admirable 
economy and more consummate intelligence. 

The range of Byzantine genius was indeed almost 
bewildering ; and the study of early Christian architec- 
ture, which is, practically, church architecture from the 
time of Constantine onwards to the twelfth century, is 
rendered the more difficult by the absence of clear lines 
of classification. Even as regards Roman architecture 
itself there still appear to be lingering misconceptions. 
It has been too much the habit to assume that Roman 
architecture was merely a tame reproduction of Greek. 
This was by no means the case. So far as details of 
ornament went, so far as concerned the orders, and 


what we may call the dressing of architecture, we may 
concede at once that the Romans copied the Greeks, 
and copied them badly. This, however, does not go 
to the root of the matter. The Roman was a bom 
architect, in the sense of what is most vital in 
architecture, for he was a born constructor ; and 
it was out of this strong constructive sense that a 
new architecture was developed. The arches of his 
aqueducts, the tremendous feats of his concrete vaulting, 
the constructional daring of his baths and amphi- 
theatres, far outweighed his carelessness or insensibility 
to the refinements of ornament. Moreover, he was, 
in fact, as in Diocletian's palace, learning to dispense 
with the pedantries of his masters, and in Syria he 
had worked out a method of architecture of which the 
chief characteristic was its practical sense and * un- 
faltering logic — an architecture that eliminated orna- 
mental forms, and worked out an abstract system of 
design from the materials to hand. When the Empire 
split up, the continuity of architectural development was 
broken. Roman architecture in the West died with the 
Roman Empire ; but in the East, or rather at Byzan- 
tium, the legacy of Rome passed into the hands of men 
capable of developing it to the utmost — men who did, 
in fact, evolve from it a new type of architecture, prob- 
ably the most truly original that the world has ever seen. 
It is interesting to trace the progress of the Greek 
mind at work on the Roman tradition. In the earlier 
churches that tradition was still strong. At San Vitale, 
for instance, the dome was constructed of vessels of 
terra-cotta to neutralise the thrust — a substitute for the 


inverted saucer construction of the concrete dome. 
But San Vitale was probably a Byzantine copy of a 
certain church at Antioch, built by Constantine's 
architects ; it is in St. Sophia that we have the first 
and most signal illustration of the transformation of 
Roman construction by the genius of the later Greeks. 
There, for the first time, at any rate on a large scale, 
we have the thrust of the dome recognised and strongly 
dealt with by an elaborate system of counter-thrust 
worked out within the building itself, and not, as in 
Gothic architecture, somewhat artlessly met by the 
props and stays of external buttresses. This was the 
highest point of attainment ever reached by the Byzan- 
tine architects. Other types of dome construction 
were employed by them, and in all their buildings they 
devised a very beautiful method of ornament ; but St. 
Sophia remains their last word. 

The question presents itself, how far it is possible or 
even desirable to take up this thread again in modern 
architecture. The attempts hitherto made to modernise 
Romanesque architecture have been dismal failures in 
this country and in others. The basilica at Wilton is a 
lamentable building. Thirty years ago Mr. Burges was 
regarded by enthusiastic students as the apostle of a new 
and lively architecture ; but his influence died with him, 
and indeed with reason, for, with all his ability, Mr. 
Burges was a craftsman rather than an architect ; and 
so little did he appreciate the meaning of early Christian 
architecture that, when he submitted a design for the 
memorial church at Constantinople, he selected Italian 
Gothic as his manner. 


The Romanesque of more recent buildings is hardly 
more convincing than the different versions of Gothic 
practised with much assiduity in England during the 
second half of the nineteenth century ; and, indeed, one 
would not do their authors the injustice of supposing 
that they were believers in their own methods, for, 
with all their fondness for masquerading, they were 
astute and capable men. With one or two brilliant 
exceptions, the day of this generation has past ; and 
we fear that its members will not occupy a very con- 
spicuous place in the ultimate list of English worthies. 
They have proved once more the vanity of an art 
dictated by sentiment and fashion, but their positive 
contribution to architectural thought is practically nil. 
Indeed, it is a sobering reflection, to those who believe 
in continuous progress, that the Gothic revival, which 
insisted on the sincerity and honesty of its building, 
rapidly became one of the most insincere movements 
that have ever happened in the history of architecture. 
No man in his senses could say that the architecture of 
the Law Courts, with all its merits, expressed in the 
slightest degree the purpose of the building, or in any 
sense proceeded out of that purpose. In that building, 
and in most of the churches of the time, vast quantities 
of detail were introduced for little reason except that 
they were in the style and of the period ; and if, as Mr. 
Lethaby justly says, art is the sincere expression of one's 
self, one can only conclude that these architects had no 
self to express, or chose to conceal it in obedience to a 
prevailing fashion in sentiment. 

The latest effort in this direction was made by Mr. 


Bentley in his splendid cathedral at Westminster. That 
able architect sought his inspiration in Byzantine art ; 
and the result is probably the finest church built in 
England since the days of Wren. But then how did 
Mr. Bentley go to work ? In the first place he was an 
artist absolutely steeped in the knowledge of his art ; 
and in the second place, instead of starting from the 
outside, that is with superficial features collected from 
other buildings, he started from within, with a great 
scheme of construction, which he proceeded to realise in 
his own way and with all the resources of his immense 
knowledge. It is yet too soon to say whether this is 
the first word of a new order or the last word of the 
old, but on any showing it was a work done in the spirit 
of the Byzantines, the work of a man who, while 
availing himself to the full of his knowledge, kept 
it in subordination to the play of his intelligence. 
And this seems to me what is most wanted in modern 
architecture. William Morris used to say that archi- 
tecture must start again at the beginning, a remark 
of far-reaching sagacity, in singular contrast with his 
own practice in ornament ; but " beginning again " does 
not mean intentional eccentricity and the repudiation 
of knowledge, or such cheap experiments in originality 
as disfigured the lectures of VioUet-le-Duc. Good 
architecture is not arrived at by violent efforts to be 
original. If architecture is again to become an art with 
assured vitality, it must dispense with the unessential, 
and address itself to the root of the matter, namely, 
to the task of finding the absolutely best expression for 
the constructive necessities of a building. This is the 


lesson to be learnt from Justinian's architects. They 
taught the world that when all the conventions are 
exhausted, beautiful architecture may yet be possible^ 
given great knowledge of the art, hard and concentrated 
thought, and the free play of the imagination on the 
actual conditions of the problem. 


In the Museo Civico at Vicenza there is a photograph 
of a portrait medallion of Palladio, showing the features 
of a man of thirty, almost Greek in their refinement 
and suavity of profile. On a bracket above is a bust 
of Palladio, which presents him as an elderly careworn 
man, with a sharp nose and ill -shaped head, who 
appears to be making a violent effort of mental con- 
centration, doing his best, as it would seem, to look 
intellectual. Which is right, the medallion or the 
bust ?/3}Was Palladio an idealist in architecture, a master 
of abstract form, or was he, in fact, nothing but a more 
or less meritorious pedant ? Both views have been 
advanced with fervour, but possibly he was neither 
the one nor the other, perhaps he was an architect of a 
fine ambition which he was not man enough to realise. 
There is no doubt that he was constantly set to make 
bricks without straw, and the question is whether he 
was the unwilling victim of circumstance, or whether, 
from want of imagination and force of character, he 
tamely acquiesced in his position and was content with 
cheap attainment. The question is of some critical 
importance, because at different periods in the history 

of architecture Palladio has been made the stalking- 



horse of retrograde art, and, on the other hand, he 
undoubtedly inspired the design of one of the greatest 
architects this country ever produced, and there is still 
necessity to attend to the lesson that he taught. 

Little is really known of Palladio's life. The great 
edition of his works by Bertotti Scamozzi^ is still the 
chief authority, and ^'Talladio's reputation is one of 
those that remain unchallenged, because their interest 
is not great enough to attract further research. 

Andrea Palladio was born at Vicenza in the year 
151 8 — there is some uncertainty as to the date * — and 
was the son of Pietro, stone mason, of that city. He 
is said to have begun his career as a sculptor — the 
probable meaning of which is that he helped his father 
in building — but to have given up sculpture for the 
study of architecture. Temanza and Milizia say that 
** his master at this time, it is believed, was Giovanni 
Fontana." The famous Giovanni Fontana known to 
Vasari was some twenty -two years younger than 
Palladio, so that we should like to hear more of this 
other Giovanni Fontana. Temanza rested his assertion 
first on a passage at the end of Vasari*s Life of 
Jacopo SansavinOy which mentions " un Giovanni 
intagliatore e architetto " as belonging to Vicenza ; 
and secondly, on a record that the design for the 
Basilica of Vicenza was sent in under the joint names 

> La Batiments et Iti desseins de Andre Palladio^ Vicensa. By Ottavio 
Bertotti Scamozzi ; published in Italian in 1776, and in French in 1796. This 
Scamozai is not to be confused with Vincenzo Scamozzi, Palladio's pupil and 

^ The portrait of Palladio in Windsor Castle by B. Licinio gives the date 
anno xxiii. 1541. It shows a plain young man in a robe with fur collar over 
a crimson doublet. 


of Maestro Giovanni and A. Palladio, and he assumed 
that this Giovanni must have been Palladio's master ; 
but the passage in Vasari was added by certain of 
his editors — moreover, this unknown Giovanni is there 
described as a sculptor of ornament, and there seems 
to be no evidence for the story worth the name. An 
entry of a payment to " Messer Andrea, architect," in 
1 540, discovered by Bertotti Scamozzi, probably refers 
to Palladio, and, if so, shows that he was already 
recognised as an architect, but, so far, his early training 
is a matter of conjecture, and he probably learnt his 
business with his father, and obtained his education 
from his patron and employer, Gian Giorgio Trissino. 
In 1 541 Palladio accompanied Trissino to Rome to 
study the remains of Classical architecture, and sub- 
sequently he visited Ancona, Rimini, Naples, Capua, 
and Nimes. He refers to the famous double staircase 
at Chambord, but there is no evidence to show that he 
ever went there. In 1547 he was at Tivoli, and in 
1 55 1 he was at Rome for the third time, in the 
company of Venetian gentlemen. It was during these 
years, from 1540 to 1551, that he appears to have 
collected the materials for his work Lt AnAchita di 
Roma^ published at Rome in 1554 and at Venice 
in 1565. 

Meanwhile, he had begun practice as an architect. 
His earliest work is said to have been certain alterations 
to the Palazzo Trissino at Criccoli for Trissino in 1536, 
but even taking full account of the precocity of artists 
of the Renaissance, it is hardly likely that he was 
employed here as architect. The probable explanation 


is that he acted as foreman or superintendent for 
Trissino, possibly with his father Pietro as contractor. 
This is only a theory, but Imperiale states that Palladio 
was "famulus" to Trissino, and that it was Trissino 
who first introduced him to the study of architecture. 
Palladio's first important work was the addition of the 
two-storied arcaded Loggia to the Salla della Ragione 
at Vicenza in 1545 to 1549. In 1549 he is said to 
have been summoned to Rome by Paul III. to advise 
on the completion of St. Peter^s ; but as the Pope died 
before his arrival, nothing came of the visit. The whole 
story, however, seems to be doubtful. In 1556 he 
designed the church of San Giorgio Maggiore at Venice, 
and the Church of II Redentore at Venice was begun 
from his designs in 1576, and probably between these 
dates he made the clever design of the chapel of the 
Zitelle on the Giudecca at Venice. Among his other 
important buildings are the series of palaces at Vicenza, 
such as the Palazzi Chiencate, Tiene, Valmarana, Porta 
Barbarano, the Casa del Diavolo, and the Palazzo del 
Consiglio, the Olympic Theatre at Vicenza, the Con- 
vent of La Carita at Venice, now forming part of the 
Accademia, and various country houses, of which the 
most important executed design was a villa for Paolo 
Almerigo, a favourite model of eighteenth-century 
architects. There is a good deal of confusion about 
this building. The villa in question (which is shown 
on page 18, Book II., of the 1570 edition of Palladio^ 
and on plates 14 and 15, Book II., of Leoni's edition) 
was built for the Referendary Paolo Almerigo, about 
a mile or so out of Vicenza. It is sometimes called 

\ i B I B^ J L -. j 

A. Palladio, Architect, 


"the Villa Capra." Now Palladio did build a house 
for Signor Giulio Capra "in un bellissimo sito sopra 
la strada principale della Citta" (Vicenza), which is 
shown in page 20, Book II., Palladio^ ^Sl^ — immedi- 
ately following the plate of Almerigo's house. Milizia 
first called Almerigo's house the Villa Capra, possibly 
because it belonged to a Marchese Capra in the 
eighteenth century, and hence the confusion. 

Palladio's literary work is, of course, of first-rate 
importance in the history of architecture. In addition 
to the Antichiti and the Commentaries of Caesar, he 
helped Daniele Barbaro in his edition of Vitruvius 
(1556), and in 1570 he published the final results of 
his studies in those famous four books which have 
done more to influence architecture than any book ever 
written on the subject, except the treatise of Vitruvius. 
His latest design was made for the Theatre of the 
Olympic Academy at Vicenza. This was begun in 
1580, but Palladio did not live to see the completion 
of this building, for he died the same year, and was 
buried in S. Corona, at Vicenza. 

The scanty summary which I have given contains 
most of the facts found in the usual accounts of 
Palladio. The compilers of those accounts might con- 
veniently bear in mind a certain caustic remark in 
Leoni's Preface : " 'Tis pity that the authors who have 
made mention of him are silent in the particulars of 
his life. They have taken great pains in giving us 
a long list of the fine buildings wherewith he adorned 
his country, but to litde purpose, since we have them 
drawn and explained by himself in the second and third 


books of his architecture.'* The buildings that have 
been reproduced before are reproduced again, and 
instead of any attempt to place Palladio in relation 
to his contemporaries, we are given dreary catalogues 
of his works. The latest work on this subject, for 
example, omitted any reference to Vasari's account of 
him, yet Vasari states that Palladio designed a theatre in 
wood, open to the sky in the manner of the Colosseum, 
for the " Campagnia della Calza " at Venice, and that he 
employed Zucchero to paint the scenery in twelve large 
pictures representing incidents in the life of Hyrcanus, 
King of Jerusalem, the hero of the tragedy to be 
performed in the theatre. Vasari also gives the more 
important fact that Palladio was a member of the 
Academy of Florence — a body which included in its 
ranks, Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto, Bronzino, and many 
others, including Vasari himself. In the Bologna edition 
of Vasari (1647, ^^ edition on which Temanza founded 
his wild theory of Giovanni " Fontana,") two and a half 
pages are devoted to an extravagant panegyric of 
Palladio. The writer says that Palladio had made of 
Vicenza the most honourable and beautiful of cities, and 
that as to his design in general, "Sarebbe stata lun- 
ghissima storia voler raccontare molto particolari di 
belle e strane inventioni e capricci.*' Caprice is hardly 
what one would look for in Palladio, and the whole 
passage bears evident marks of being an interpolation. 
At the same time it was worth noting in any account of 
Palladio which sets out to be exhaustive. 

What the student wants to know is Palladio's place 
among architects, how he came to occupy the position 


in history that he does, what were the sources from 
which he drew his inspiration, and the genesis of his 
individual methods of thought and design.)^ Architects 
do not spring into existence fully armed, as Pallas 
Athene from the brow of Zeus. One wants to know 
and understand their antecedents, the labours of their 
predecessors which became their heritage, the intellectual 
atmosphere of the time which made them possible at 
all ; and this is, in fact, the function of historical 
criticism. Palladio, for instance, could hardly have 
conceived of his books on architecture and his an- 
tiquities of Rome if Alberti had not written his ten 
books, De Re yEdificatoria^ more than a hundred years 
before, and if that extraordinary scholar and designer, 
Fra Qocondo, had not led the way with his Corpus 
InscripHonum^ and if Daniele Barbaro had not produced 
his immensely-learned commentaries on Vitruvius in his 
own lifetime ; if, in short, all the great architects of the 
hundred years before him had not given the profoundest 
study possible at the time to the remains of classical 
architecture then existing in Rome. Flavio Biondo had 
written his Roma Instaurata as early as 1430-40, and 
his MS. was printed at Roma in 1480. Poggio's MS. 
He Fortuna Varietate^ written about the same time as 
Biondo's work, was printed at Basle in 1538. More- 
over, the works of Albertini, Pomponius Leto, Fulvio, 
Calvus, Lafreri, Marliani, Fauno, Labacco, and Ligorio 
were all earlier than Palladio*s book ; and in addition 
to these authors there is Serlio's work to be considered. 
Serlio published the first of his books on architecture 
in 1532, and completed the series in 1540. Now Serlio 


was in the field long before Palladio, for the first book 
which he published was actually the fourth in the com- 
plete set, and in this book he gave a full account of the 
five orders and their various ornaments, while in the 
book next published (third in the complete set) he 
treated " of all kinds of excellent antiquities of build- 
ings, of Houses, Temples, Amphitheatres, Palaces, 
Thermes, Obelisks, Bridges, Arches triumphant," etc., 
with the motto, " Roma quanta fuit ipsa ruina docet." ^ 
When Palladio took up the study of Roman antiquities 
Serlio's work was the acknowledged authority on the 
subject ; and not only did Serlio, in fact, anticipate 
Palladio in nearly every instance, but his survey covered 
a good deal more ground. Palladio's book was there- 
fore by no means such an epoch-making affiiir as it has 
been generally represented to be, but he was more 
astute than Serlio in that he gratified the taste of the 
time by restorations of the buildings he represented. 
These restorations were quite hypothetical, and in 
many cases improbable, yet they were so apparently 
complete as to satisfy an appetite for classical know- 
ledge as uncritical as it was insatiable. One would 
willingly exchange the whole set of Palladio's restored 
antiquities for a dozen trustworthy measured drawings 

^ Among the buildings delineated are the Pantheon, the Temple of Bacchus, the 
Temple of Peace, the Temple of Piety, the Temple of Vetta, four unnamed Temples 
(one of Minerva Medica), various designs of St. Peter's, S. Pietro in Montorio, the 
theatre of Marcellus, the theatre of Pisa, a theatre near Viterbo, Trajan's Column, 
the Colosseum, the amphitheatres at Verona and Pisa, a palace on Monte Caballo 
at Rome, the harbour of Ostia, the Thermae of Titus and of Diocletian, one of the 
Pyramids, the ** Bankers buildings," S. Georgio in Velabro, the Temple of Janus, 
the arches of Titus, of Septimius Servus, an archway at Beneventum, the Arch, of 
Constantine, arches at Ancona and Pola, at Castel Vecchio in Verona, and others ; 
and Serlio concludes his third book with some account of works by Bramante, 
Peruzzi, and Raphael. 


of the buildings as they were when he saw them. That 
in making this criticism one is not asking the impossible 
is proved by the fact that while Palladio was at work 
on his fancy drawings other men were actually en- 
deavouring to give a faithful record of the buildings 
themselves. In 1575 Stefano du Perac^ published his 
FesHgi deir Antichita di Roma^ in which he says that 
his object was " rappresentar-fidelmente i residui della 
Romana grandezza." In order to show the historical 
untrustworthiness of Palladio*s drawings, I give both 
du Perac's and Palladio's views of the Pantheon. 
There can be no doubt, from other evidence, that 
du Perac drew what he actually saw, and his work 
has historical value to this day, whereas Palladio's 
version has retired to the limbo of those academical 
exercises in restoration which have been the plaything 
of architects from his time to our own. It appears 
from a comparison of the blocks in Serlio*s ArchiUctura 
and Marliani's IJrbis Roma Topographia that Palladio 
used the work of his predecessors freely and not always 
accurately. Marliani's book appeared in 1535 ; it 
was dedicated to Francis I., and is said to have gone 
through eleven editions in the sixteenth century. On 
page 46 of the fifth edition is given a plan of the 
Basilica of Constantinc, with dimensions which differ 
from those given by Palladio. But Marliani's dimen- 
sions are right and Palladio's are wrong. Serlio's plan 
is identical with Marliani's. Judged by modern stand- 
ards of research, Serlio's work in this direction is the 

^ Stefano da Perac appears again as the ** Etienne du Perac, peintre et architecte 
da Henri IV.," who designed the Tuileries end of the gallery connecting the 
Tuileriet and the Louvre. Sec Blondel, Architecture Fran^aistj iv. 19. 




more valuable of the two ; and as for the erudition 
displayed by Palladio, almost any important building 

by Baldassare Peruzzi — such, for instance, as the 
Palazzo Massimi alle Colonne at Rome — shows a more 
intimate grasp of the architecture of the past than the 
whole of Palladio*s books and buildings put together. 


Palladio*s extraordinary reputation is indeed a re- 
markable illustration of the luck of history. It has 
transcended the fame of abler men. It appears and re- 
appears at regular intervals, and in England, at any 
rate, the work of this architect should be introduced to 
students with very great care and all sorts of limitations, 
for at recurring intervals Palladio has been a sort of old 
man of the sea to the art of architecture. There is 
assuredly a good deal of chance in reputations ; an 
able man in a poor time may acquire a reputation of 
more or less fictitious value, until somebody takes the 
trouble to look into the work that the man actually did. 
Palladio was certainly happy in his opportunity. His 
fame rests partly on his writings and partly on his 
architecture. In England, at any rate, and I think to 
a considerable extent in Italy, his writings were the 
principal factor in his success, for his four books on 
architecture appeared at the precise psychological 
moment. Somebody was wanted to sum up the result 
of the last hundred years of work. The great effort of 
the Renaissance was over. That whirlwind of energy 
which had swept through every nook and cranny of 
the arts was nearly spent, the reaction was setting in, 
and of that reaction Palladio was the nice exponent. 
More neat and orderly in his methods than Serlio, 
more comprehensive than Vignola, with the touch of 
pedantry that suited the times and invested his writings 
with a fallacious air of scholarship, he was the very 
man to summarise and classify, and to save future 
generations of architects the labour of thinking for 
themselves. After the days of the intellectual giants 


came the schoolmaster to put everything in order. 
What to them had been facts and vital elements of 
expression were now to be docketed as abstractions. 
Architecture was to be put into a strait waistcoat in 
order to keep it respectable and adjust it to the stand- 
ard of the virtuoso. The result is rather depressing. 
The neatness and precision of the pedant are poor stuff 
after the clanging blows of heroes. Yet each heroic 
age must pass, and there is work for the methodical 
mind to do before another epoch of intense endeavour 
begins.^ This seems to me the explanation of Palladio's 
commanding reputation in Italy. More than any 
other man of his time, he hit the taste and temper 
of his audience. Under the guise of scholarship 
he was able to justify the most astonishing follies 
in architecture, and for the time his fame was para- 
mount. Yet it had no staying power, the Italians 
were much too brilliant and versatile a people to 
acquiesce in their strait waistcoat. They very soon 
turned their back on their pedagogue, and indulged to 
their hearts' content in a wild orgy of exuberant and 
unlicensed architecture. The impudence of Borromini 
was the inevitable sequel to the dogmatism of Palladio, 
much as in England the Gothic revival was the result 
of the pedantry of Campbell and Kent. 

Palladio's reputation in England in the eighteenth 
century, amounting almost to fetish worship, was, again, 
partly the result of accident. There is no doubt that 
'^' by the beginning of the sixteenth century Palladio's* 
treatise was generally recognised as the authority on 
architecture. The French, it is true, with the fine 


instinct which has always guided their architecture, 
preferred Vignola. But Palladio was so complete and 
systematic, that to others he was inevitable, and when 
Inigo Jones came to Italy at the end of the sixteenth 
century, he fell headlong into the arms of this teacher, 
studied the antiquities of Rome by the very imtrust- 
worthy light of Palladio, and came back to England to 
put into practice the results of this narrow if devoted 
study. It is unnecessary to dwell on the commanding 
genius of the English architect. He swept aside the 
puerilities of Elizabethan design, and definitely set up 
Palladio as the model of architecture. What would 
have been gained if he could only have come under the 
influence of Peruzzi or Sanmichele instead of Palladio 
is now only a melancholy speculation. Fortunately, 
Wren did break away from Palladianism. His extra- 
ordinarily intelligent genius was much too active and 
alert for any such hide-bound stuff, and he became the 
great architect that he did, because he was in fact a 
great constructor. The weaker men who succeeded 
him had to fall back on rule and text -book, and 
Palladio recovered his ascendency in England because 
his method adapted itself to the taste of the English 
virtuoso of the eighteenth century. Early in that 
century a dead set was made against Wren by 
the younger generation, and the whole point of 
their disparagement was that Wren was a free-lance 
who disregarded the niceties of Palladian architecture. 
Lord Burlington, who abetted this vicious intrigue, 
was an amateur, but the architects ought to have 
known better than to join in a conspiracy of silence 


against one of the greatest architects the world has 
ever seen. 
y^ The positive value of Palladio's treatise on archi- 
tecture consists chiefly in its lucidity and orderly 
arrangement. The chapters are short, and on the 
whole to the point, though by no means original. 
Palladio acknowledges his obligations to Vitruvius as 
his master and guide, and indeed follows him closely, 
only omitting the fables and anecdotes with which 
Vitruvius adorned his pages. His illustrations (always 
excepting the drawings of ancient buildings) are work- 
manlike and very well drawn. His examples were 
selected with fine taste, and he gives a more complete 
explanation of the orders than any treatise hitherto 
published — an explanation, moreover, that was easily 
grasped by his readers ; and I think that in this lay the 
secret of his success. Yet the book has some serious 
defects. There is a large parade of learning, but where 
it is not borrowed from other writers it is chiefly drawn 
from Palladio's inner consciousness ; and then there is 
that uncomfortable habit of advertisement, for, out of 
the four books that Palladio wrote, two are in fact 
mainly occupied with the illustration of his own inven- 
tions. His motives may, of course, have been dis- 
interested. He may have honestly believed that no 
better illustrations of his theory were to be found than 
his own practice, and at least there is no trace of 
jealousy in Palladio. He is as enthusiastic about the 
merits of his contemporaries as he is about his own ; 
but we regret his failure in historical sense. Palladio 
was, it appears, a self-made, and to some extent a self- 


educated, man. There is little evidence that he received 
his training from any architect, and he appears to have 
picked up his knowledge as he could. To a man of 
Palladio's temperament, the desire to parade his learn- 
ing must have been irresistible, and he found his chance 
in the preciosity of the later Renaissance. It is in this, 
more particularly, that he seems to me to have shown his 
weakness. Alberti, for instance, the first serious modern 
writer on architecture, was induced to write his book, not 
only by his real interest in the art, but also by a certain 
intellectual restlessness that was not to be satisfied until it 
had got abreast of its subject and reduced it to ordered 
shape. His interest lay in the facts of building, but 
Alberti was a gentleman and a scholar, and not in the 
least concerned with the advertisement of his own capacity 
as an architect, whereas in this regard Palladio was a 
conspicuous offender, and the first to set a disastrous 
precedent. Moreover, the real concern of all great 
architects has been with building, not with the dressing 
up of antiquity. It is true that there was no escaping 
the orders in the sixteenth century, yet other architects 
were able to avoid the obsession of that fixed idea that 
the orders summed up the whole meaning of archi- 
tecture. Philibert De TOrme, for example, the first 
edition of whose works appeared three years before 
Palladio's architecture, was able to devote himself at 
length to the intricate problems of setting out of 
masonry, and to matters of construction in his " nou- 
velles inventions pour bien bastir," a matter to which 
Palladio, with his stucco translation of stonework, 
appears to have given very slight consideration. The 


theatricality of his design did not confine itself to his 
buildings. The same insincerity, the same inability or 
unwillingness to grasp the essential facts of architecture 
are visible in his books. 

The /InHquities of Rome do not remove this impres- 
sion. This little book was published at Rome in 1557. 
It is a small octavo of thirty-two pages, and is, in fact, 
a collection of archaeological notes on Rome, taken from 
ancient and modern writers. Palladio says that he was 
induced to write it by the decay of the great monu- 
ments of Rome, and also by his having come into 
possession of a certain small book, entitled, Le Cose 
Maravigliose di Roma^ "tutto pieno di strane bugie." 
This little book was no other than the famous twelfth- 
century guide-book known as the Mirabilia urbis Romif. 
Palladio's own remarks are scarcely less strange than the 
lies with which he says this book is filled. He states that 
Rome was built in the year 5550 of the world's history, 
and offers an exact date for the birth of Romulus and 
Remus. There are no illustrations, though Palladio 
says he measured many of the buildings with his own 
hands ; ^ and the notes are brief descriptions deal- 
ing indiscriminately with gates, bridges, aqueducts, 
fountains, vestal virgins, Roman marriages, and the 
like. It is a surprising fact that this worthless little 
book went through at least eight editions, and was 

^ There teems no doubt that Palladio did measure tome, at any rate, of these 
buildings, and left a good many of his notes in manuscript. Some of them came 
into the possession of Lord Burlington, who published his plans of the ** Therm z 
of Rome" in 1730; but a comparison of the various sixteenth-century measured 
drawings of Rome show that plagiarism was the regular rule, and as students of 
this period are aware, writers hardly ever acknowledged their obligations to each 


translated into Spanish in 1589. Palladio's edition of 
the Commentaries of Csesar was published by Franceschi 
at Venice in 1575. A pathetic interest attaches to this 
book. Palladio states that he had always interested 
himself in military matters, and, indeed, there is a story 
that on one occasion he surprised some officers by 
putting a number of galley slaves through the drill of 
the Roman legionaries. It appears that he directed the 
attention of two of his sons, Horatio and Leonidas, to 
the subject, and they set about making a series of 
designs to illustrate Caesar's campaigns. Their un- 
timely death left the work unfinished, and some time 
afterwards Palladio published this edition as a monument 
of his sons' labours, asking his readers' pardon for any 
faults, on the ground that in so far as they were the 
faults of his sons, they were but young men, who had 
devoted themselves to an excellent study ; and in so 
far as they were his own, they were those of a father 
too distracted by grief to collect the material necessary 
to complete the work. It does not appear whether 
Palladio translated the Commentaries himself or used 
an existing translation. From the absence of any refer- 
ence to translation on the title-page and in the preface, 
I am inclined to think the latter, and the chief interest 
of the book lies in the quaint imagination and curious 
research of the illustrations. 

" \ Palladio's position as an architect is much less easy 
to determine. That he possessed great knowledge of 
architectural detail, and a fine sense, though by no 
means a genius, for proportion, is certain. He was an 
exceedingly skilful architectural draughtsman. In the 


sacristy of San Petronio at Bologna there is a collection 
of the various designs for the completion of the cathe- 
dral. It includes drawings by Peruzzi, Giulio Romano, 
Del Varignano (whose design was accepted though 
never executed), Tibaldi, Ranuzzi, Rinaldi, Palladio, 
Vignola, Terribilia, and others. Peruzzi*s design (a 
section in perspective) is most interesting and curious ; 
but Palladio's, a geometrical drawing of a classical 
elevation, 3 ft. 6 in. long and 2 ft. 11^ in. high, is far 
and away the ablest in the whole collection considered 
as an architectural drawing. He was, moreover, a 
most ingenious planner, and, so far as resource and 
knowledge go, a skilful builder .y^ The interiors of the 
San Giorgio, of the Zitelle, and of II Redentore at 
Venice are among the best designed classical churches 
in existence, and one notices a continuous improvement 
in Palladio's design. 

^ San Giorgio, which is the earliest, was finished in 
1560. The plan is very simple, and consists of a nave 
and aisles in three bays, with an additional half space at 
the west end, occupied by two tiers of niches ; a dome 
over the crossing, with transepts, then another bay 
with a screen of columns on the east side, through 
which is seen the apse beyond. The nave has a plain 
barrel vault, with intersecting vaults for the semi- 
circular windows above the entablature, each bay being 
divided by a Corinthian column set on a lofty pedestal ; 
the arches from the nave to the aisles rest on a smaller 
entablature on columns, which are placed directly on 
the floor, and by this means Palladio got over the 

""^^ difficulty of a marked difference in scale between the 

u < 



larger and the smaller order. This church is in 
excellent order, and the effect of the severe classic 
design rising from the marble floor is of admirable 
dignity ; yet in the chapel of the Zitelle, probably 
the next in date, and in the Redentore, which was 
finished in 1576, Palladio went further. 
S In the Redentore^ he gave up the pedestals and 
planted his main order on the floor, and instead of the 
unpleasant straight line of the eastern screen he took his 
columns round on the curve of the apse, with a low 
screen wall some 8 or 9 ft. high shutting off the choir. 
The only criticism one would suggest on the plan is, 
that in order to complete his design of the piers under 
the dome the opening from the nave into the dome is 
not the full width of the nave (some 55 ft.), but the 
width of the arches to the transepts and apse, viz. some 
30 feet. The vista is in consequence partially blocked, 
and one gets an impression, not infrequent in Palladio*s 
work, of his having been mastered by his own design, 
in other words, of his having submitted to difliculties 
rather than thought them through to the uttermost. 
With this exception, the interior of the Redentore is 
a most accomplished piece of severe design, and one 
has only to compare it with the nightmare cleverness 
of the interior of the Salute to realise the ability of 
Palladio as an architect. The splendid Campanile of 
San Giorgio is later, and dates from the seventeenth 
century, so that we can hardly give Palladio the credit 

^ The Church of the Redentore is in bad order inside, and its effect is diminished 
by the figures painted on boards which fill the niches in the drum of the nave. I 
mention these points, as they might prevent justice being done to this very fine 


of the beautiful composition, both in outline and colour, 
that it makes with his church.^^The facade of the 
Redentore seems to me the better of the two, the scale is 
successfully maintained, the mass and outline are better, 
the detail of its kind is perfect, and it gains from the 
broad flight of stairs from the quay. The enormous 
west doors are covered with hammered copper, now all 
black, but I believe this was once gilt, and its contrast 
with the white Istrian stone, as seen across the water 
from the Zattere, must have been superb.lsi The west 
front of San Francesco della Vigna is another good 
example of Palladio's design, but as a rule the exteriors 
of his churches are weaker than his interiors. He 
seems to have been unable to escape the orders, the 
perpetual pediment treatment is monotonous, and his 
domes will not compare with Longhena*s magnificent 
silhouette across the water. But Palladio did not have 
the opportunities of Longhena, and the outline of his 
domes is very fine. Now that the Campanile of St. 
Mark's has gone, it is to his three domes and the 
domes of the Salute that the Venice of the lagoons 
owes its mysterious charm. The fascination that they 
had for Turner is well known ; they seem to have 
dominated the whole of his imagination of Venice. 
Another generation may yet learn to find not the 
least of the attractions of Venice in that later Renais- 
sance, which to a famous writer of the last generation 
had no value whatever except as material for un- 
restrained invective. 

One quality Palladio shared with nearly all the more 
considerable architects of the Italian Renaissance, his 

o iJ 


4~^ feeling for spaciousness. He ignored material as sub- 
ject for thought, and he seems to have cared little about 
construction, provided he made his point and satisfied 
his rigid canons of design in the manner of the ancients. 
It is useless to look to him for great qualities of 
texture, or for any enjoyment of the actual surface and 
substance of the materials he used, r Yet his composi- 
tions make their own aesthetic appeal. ^ Put away 
associations derived from other phases of architectural 
expression, and it is possible to enjoy a certain abstract 
beauty of form and proportion, an equable coolness of 
design which acquires a very high value in comparison 
with the turbulent strivings of later Italian work. Mr. 
Berenson has invented an ingenious formula for this 
peculiar quality of the Italian Renaissance Church, 
which to some extent describes this aspect of Palladio*s 
design. These architects, he says, aimed almost 
exclusively at space composition. This was what led 
them to their dome construction ; and the arches, 
pendentives, the great vault of the dome itself, were 
there to suggest the immensity of space. In the 
church of the Madonna della Consolazione at Todi, 
for instance, he says : " You feel as if you had cut 
loose from gravitation, and as if you took flight, not 
only from the material universe, but also from all that 
is your conscious self. The builder of such a church 
makes space no less eloquent than a composer makes 
sound. ^^^An Italian architect is really a space composer." 
The idea is a suggestive one, though it is ex post facto 
criticism. That is to say, what Mr. Berenson describes 
as having been the conscious aim of the architect is in 


reality a description of the effect which the architecture 
makes on Mr. Berenson's mind. His formula seems 
dangerously near that criticism by subjective inter- 
pretation which Mr. Berenson has done more to put 
out of court than any other living critic. Moreover, 
it is not exact in history. If, in fact, this had been 
the overmastering "iHOtive of the Italian architect, 
one sees no reason why he should have taken the 
immense care that he did with the design of his piers, 
and should not have been content with the simpler 
methods and far bolder space compositions of the 
Byzantine builders.. Mr. Berenson's formula would 
apply to the latter with considerable aptness. It is 
unhistorical when applied to the architects of the Italian 
Renaissance. These men devoted themselves to dome 
construction for a variety of reasons which practically 
all merge in the one solid fact of the Pantheon ; the 
fact, that is, that in their boundless enthusiasm for the 
antique they were ready to go all lengths in order to 
realise the architecture of the Roman Empire. Having 
the Pantheon before them for their model, they put the 
best face they could on the matter. Alberti says that 
round temples are the best, because most things are 
round in nature.>^ Palladio asserted that temples were 
made round " because the sun and moon are perpetually 
describing their orbs round about the world," and that 
in Christian countries templ<^ should be round, because 
it was " absolutely the most suitable form of building," 
and is " the most proper figure to show the variety, in- 
finite essence, the uniformity and justice of God."^ 

^ Leoni's Translation, ii. 45. 



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Palladio might put it as he pleased, but he, in common 
with his predecessors, argued for the circular plan, or 
plan based on circles with the domical construction 
which it entailed, because they could not escape, and 
had not the least desire to escape, the predominating 
influence of the Pantheon. It is difficult nowadays to 
realise the enthusiasm for the antique with which these 
men of the Renaissance were saturated. Architects, 
painters, and sculptors alike came under its sway. 
Artists of all kinds and of all countries came to study 
its examples, and to seek out its spirit in Rome. 
■ Palladio has come to be looked upon as the type of the 
classical architect, but though there can be no doubt 
that his enthusiasm was genuine, it was by no means 
singular.^ T^e merely summed up in architecture what 
had been one of the absorbing passions of the Renais- 

Curiously enough, the place in which Palladio shows 
to the least advantage is his own birthplace of Vicenza. 
At Venice there are his great churches, and the fine 
fragment of La Carita ; at Bologna there is the un- 
affected and dignified front of the Palazzo Giustizia in 
brick and stone. But at Vicenza all his work, with the 
exception of the Basilica Palladiana, is in stucco ; not 
merely in actual fact, but, if one may say so, in the full 
intention of the term. In other words, it is pretentious 
and unreal. I except the Basilica, not because it is all 
in stone, but because, in spite of its faults, it is one of 
the ablest transformations of an older building ever done, 
and its effect is very much finer than would appear from 
the photographs. Next to this I should be inclined to 


place the Casa del Diavolo and the Municipio, both 
fragments of vast designs which, so far as one can see, 
never could have been completed, yet which give 
evidence of a grasp of the imaginative possibilities of 
great size and rhythmical proportions. The same 
quality is seen in the design of the courts of several of 
the palaces, notably that of the Trissino Palace (1562), 
with its four square bays separated by columns from 
this open court in the centre ; or the fine covered 
entrance way of the Palazzo Porto Barbarano. Other- 
wise, these palaces are strangely depressing, Vicenza 
society of the sixteenth century would make an interest- 
ing psychological study. In so far as it is suggested 
by these buildings, it must have been fatuous in the last 
degree. The whole efFort of architect and client was con- 
centrated on the outside, for the insides have absolutely 
"tio charm at all. They seem to have constantly striven 
to magnify matters of insignificance into events of the 
first importance, to persuade themselves and their neigh- 
bours that they were really among the great ones of the 
earth. Over the entrance of the Palazzo Valmarana is 
a tablet stating that Count Valmarana here entertained, 
in 1 58 1, Maria, daughter of Charles V., on her way 
through to Spain : " Ob veterem Austriacorum principum 
erga banc domum clientelam *' ; but he began with 
stone and stucco on his front, and was reduced to 
brick and wood at the back, and only a small part of 
his plan was ever built. Poverty peeps out at every 
moment, through the thin pretence of stucco, and 
yet these counts and marquesses vied with each other 
in their efforts after a specious magnificence and the 


A. Palladio, Architect. 


appearance of culture. Of all buildings designed 
by architects of reputation, the Theatre of Vicenza 
is perhaps the most futile. This is ingeniously 
planned amidst a number of other buildings, and con- 
sists of two large and one small anteroom, a large 
auditory planned as the long half of an ellipse, and 
finally a stage, some 24 paces long by 7 wide. The 
orchestra was in front of the stage, about 2 ft. 
6 in. below it, and 6 ft. below the bottom seat of 
the auditory. The back of the stage is occupied by an 
elaborate composition in three stages, which is posi- 
tively prickly with images. The back of the stage has 
three openings in it to streets arranged in perspective 
with buildings and statues. As a mere toy this is 
managed with amazing ingenuity. But the centre 
street, which is the longest, only goes back 50 ft., 
and the illusion of distance would be at once destroyed 
if any of the actors crossed these streets, as it appears 
they were intended to do. Architecturally, the redeem- 
ing features are the colonnades, masking the staircases 
at the two angles of the auditorium. It is only fair, 
however, to say that Scamozzi probably designed these 
perspectives, and it is probable that he, and not 
Palladio, was responsible for the innumerable figures 
peppered about the walls of the theatre. The Vicenza 
of Palladio's time must have been not unlike the 
Tarascon of the immortal Tartarin. Counts, marquesses, 
architects and all, spent their lives in play-acting, and if 
they enjoyed it, perhaps it is unkind to find fault, even 
if it all seems pitiful now. From this point of view 
the architecture that faithfully reflected the life of the 


place is only so much harmless folly, but when one 
finds that these very buildings have been held up for 
centuries as marvels of design and models of scholar- 
ship, and when this undiscriminating and uninstructed 
* admiration is repeated again to-day, it is time for the 

historical student to look into the matter for himself, 
and form his own estimate of the hero whom he is 
called upon to worship. 

There is no need to give any details of the Palladian 
superstition of the eighteenth century. It is written 
large on most of the big country houses of that date 
in England. It is, further, an historical fact that 
Palladio was held in high esteem by his contemporaries,^ 
yet of these men, it seems to me that Vignola, Giacomo 
Sansovino, and Galeazzo Alezzi were in their different 
ways more original architects than Palladio, and it is 
when one compares him with his immediate predecessors 
that the failure appears. With all his skill and know- 
ledge, Palladio possessed little originality. He was a 
master of the orders, and of temples, pro-style, perip- 
teral, pseudo-dipteral, and all the rest, and he played 
with the devices of his learning, combining and recom- 
bining them with much dexterity. But when it was 
all done, there was little charm about the work, or at 
least little more than the arid satisfaction to be 
derived from a meritorious student's exercise. The 

^ I recently came across a curious confirmation of this. A year or two before 
1 570, Pellegrini was appointed architect to the Cathedral of Milan, and it appears 
that his methods and mistakes so exasperated a certain Martino Bassi of Milan, 
that the latter made a formal protest to the Deputies of the fabric, and cited in 
support of his charges the written opinions of four eminent architects, Palladio, 
Vignola, Vasari, and Gio. Battista Bertani of Mantua. Bassi published his account 
of the whole affair at Milan in 1 570, and proved that Pellegrini was guilty of 
making two parallel straight lines vanish to two different points on the horizon. 


best of his town palaces, with all its ability, leaves 
one cold. Contrast, for instance, the Palazzo Tiene, 
at Vicenza, with Peruzzi's Palazzo Albergati, at 
Bologna. Palladio's work is good in proportion and 
severe in treatment, yet the mechanical fagadc makes 
no such appeal to the imagination as the massive 
fortress-like front of the Palazzo Albergati. The 
design of the Arco di Trionfo at Vicenza has been 
attributed to Palladio.^ This, again, is a characteristic 
piece of work, admirable in detail, cold, scholarly, 
accomplished, but without a grain of imagination. 
Compare this with Sanmichele*s Porta del Palio 
at Verona. Sanmichele used classical detail not less 
severe than Palladio's, and his treatment is even simpler. 
Yet, while Palladio's arch would be within the reach 
of any well-trained architectural student, the Porta del 
Palio is, I suppose, about the finest gateway in existence, 
one of the world's masterpieces. Where Peruzzi and 
Sanmichele used their brains, Palladio used his note- 
book. \^>His sense of proportion has always been held 
up to admiration as the greatest of his qualities, and 
there is no denying the fine spaciousness of the 
interiors of his Venetian churches, but generally 
speaking his sense of proportion seems to have 
amounted to little more than a rigid adherence to 
certain canons of design. A sense of proportion is 
shown not merely in the exact adjustment of the 
proportions of an order to certain recognised rules ; 
it is shown to better purpose in what we generally call 
a sense of scale. Now considered in this aspect, 

^ It was not completed till 1595. 

A. PallaHio, Architect. 


PalIadio*s work shows some conspicuous failures. In 
the first place, he seems to have had little idea of the 
use that can be made of a blank wall. Where Peruzzi 
would have got quality from the plain surface, 
Palladio breaks it up again and again with his order ; 
and even his warmest admirers have to admit that he 
never knew how to handle the ends of his buildings. 
In the new fronts that he put to the Palazzo della 
Ragione at Vicenza, his only recognition of the angle 
is to double the columns, and draw in the subordinate 
order, though the front absolutely cries out for one 
solid piece of wall. At the Palazzo Barbarano he ran 
his engaged columns into each other, with the result 
that there is no line at all ; and at the Palazzo Val- 
marana he appears to have given up the end as a bad 
job, for after putting a mighty great order to the five 
central bays of the front, he ends up at the angles 
with pilasters half the size, and a figure above them. 
A man with a sense of scale, in the wider meaning 
of the term, with a grasp of the imaginative possibilities 
of the different parts of a building, would never have 
dropped into such bathos as this. 

The last criticism I have to suggest on Palladio's 
architecture is that he shows little sense of material. 
Most of his palaces are of brick, covered with stucco, 
with stone very economically used for plinths, caps, 
bases, and the top members of cornices, in fact, only 
where necessary for practical reasons ; and though no 
doubt he would have preferred to build in stone or 
marble, he does not seem to have realised the possi- 
bilities of brick itself, either in combination with stone 


or without it.^ By this means he was able to spread 
his money very thin. He gave his clients large 
pretentious palaces, and they appear to have been 
satisfied. Yet a keener artist would have got more 
out of his materials. Peruzzi did, and Inigo Jones, 
and more conspicuously Wren, who at Hampton Court 
showed once and for all what could be done with brick 
and stone properly handled. It seems to me that an 
artist of deeper conviction and greater power would not 
have been content to go on imitating stone with stucco, 
and producing what was in fact not very far removed 
from stage architecture. There is this to be said for 
Palladio, that the local stone of Vicenza is excessively 
bad. Moreover, it had been the practice of the 
Romans to use their splendid brickwork as the mere 
drudge 6f architecture, and in nearly every case to 
cover it up with some other material, so that Palladio 
may have considered it a point of honour to follow the 
habit of the Romans ; or again, his patrons may have 
asked him to make bricks without straw, and insisted 
on his building these vast pretentious palaces at an 
impossible price. A man of genius would have found 
his way out of the difficulty, but Palladio seems to 
me typical of the able architect, who can draw well 
and design freely, but who fails as an artist both in 
imagination and temperament. 

^ The exceptions are the fragment of La Cariti now forming the east side of the 
interior of the court of the Accademia, and the Palazzo Giostizia at Bologna if one 
may take this to have been by Palladio. The work at La Carit4 is an honest and 
skilful attempt to get the effect by brick and terra-cotta used without affectation, 
but Palladio never attempted this at Vicenza. All the bricks that I have examined 
there are of splendid quality and very well built, but Palladio never seems to have 
appreciated his material. 



Yet his life and work deserve close study, if only for 
the understanding of the architecture of the last three 
hundred years ; and to enable the student to grasp the 
fact that there is such a thing as a standard in architec- 
tural design, and one that he does well to observe until 
he is able to walk by himself. I have ventured to 
suggest a few criticisms of the work of this famous 
architect, because it seems to me that in the erratic, 
I might say chaotic, state of modern architectural taste, 
there is danger of a too abrupt revulsion from anarchy 
to a rigid dogmatism in design ; and the restoration 
of Palladio as an object of idol-worship, talk about 
him as " our master " and the like, only tend to dulness 
and pedantry. In the present state of uncertainty the 
study of history is extremely important, and it is 
essential that careful critical study should be applied to 
the architecture of the past, and that the facts should be 
presented in true historical perspective and proportion. 
It is with this intention that I have offered these 
criticisms on Palladio's workvput it is not to be over- 
looked that within his own limits he was a master of 
technique, and an architect who, in such churches as 
those of S. Giorgio Maggiore and II Redentore at 
Venice, showed himself capable of fine and distinguished 
architecture. Although the really great quality of 
Roman buildings seems to have escaped him, although 
in his laborious search for details he caught no glimpse 
of that magnificent daring in construction which is the 
glory of Roman architecture, he yet had a real passion 
for antiquity, and definite convictions as to the path 
that architecture should follow. There is something 


attractive in the modesty which led him to believe it 
was not for him to revolutionise art, but to find in the 
past his guide for the future. He had not the slightest 
sympathy with the impudent audacity of ignorance, 
with what his biographer, Scamozzi, calls "la foUe 
ambition de se singulariser, et de passer pour createurs 
ou reformateurs de Tarchitecture." And it was the 
stand which he made against this tendency which was, 
in fact, the essential service that Palladio rendered to 
architecture. The position he occupies in the history 
of Italian art is not unlike that filled by Sir William 
Chambers in regard to English architecture of the 
eighteenth century. Both men were purists, even 
pedants, and their professional ability was not illuminated 
by any brilliant flash of genius. Yet both men made 
a conscious and deliberate stand against the merely 
fashionable license of their time, and endeavoured to 
recall the art of architecture to the graver practice of 
the past. It is a service that needs doing again. The 
classical tradition was the last effective influence in 
England, but that influence practically came to an 
end a hundred years ago, and the eflTorts of English 
architecture since that date have given us nothing 
in its place except varieties of false sentiment. With 
rare exceptions, the architectural exploits of the nine- 
teenth century were of the nature of guerilla fighting : 
they may or may not have been magnificent, but they 
were certainly not war. The work of steadying English 
architecture has yet to be done, if it is to resume its 
rightful place in the great procession of history. 


^^t ^ ^ .* ; 



« S 

O 0< 


Newgate prison has been described as "the most 
imaginative building in London." It so impressed the 
late Mr. Fergusson that he could only explain it as an 
astounding architectural fluke, and gave it as his 
opinion that from what he knew of Dance's character 
** it may have been mere ignorance that led him to do 
right on this occasion." Whether a fluke is possible in 
architecture or in any of the arts is a question to which 
I shall return later, merely remarking here that as Mr. 
Fergusson assigned the building to the wrong man, his 
amiable suggestion is hardly worth discussing. 

That the three facades, however, showed a very un- 
usual quality in design is beyond dispute. The 
building, in a manner, stands by itself among the 
achievements of architecture. There is nothing else 
quite like it, or quite so successful within its own 
peculiar limits. Newgate has always been regarded by 
competent opinion as something abnormal, and ab- 
normal, not in any disparaging sense, but rather as a 
rare and extraordinary eflTort in architecture ; and the 
problem of its design, dismissed by Fergusson with such 
characteristic commonplace, remains a matter of genuine 
psychological interest. 



Newgate was built upon the site of an older and 
most abominable prison. Of the older building we 
learn that " within the intercolumniations on both sides 
of the exterior were statues of Liberty, Justice, Mercy, 
and Truth." Notwithstanding these adornments, the 
prisoners died by dozens of the gaol distemper, and the 
prison was condemned. The new buildings were begun 
in 1770, from the designs of George Dance the younger, 
and, after being nearly destroyed by fire in the Gordon 
riots, were finally completed in 1782. On the internal 
arrangements I do not propose to dwell. With the 
exception of the Governor's house, most of the interior 
was rebuilt, I believe under the late Sir Horace Jones,^ 
and much that was most hateful in the original plan 
was done away with. The instincts of the mob of 
1780 were sound, for the place with its narrow windows 
and gloomy yards seems to me to have been about as 
hopelessly inhuman as it is possible to imagine ; those 
were the days before prison reform, and it was not till 
a generation later that it dawned on the public con- 
science that there was anything wrong with its ad- 
ministration of justice. Assuredly, if the majesty of 
the law was written on the walls of Newgate, its grim 
brutality was not less evident in the interior of the 
prison. For this, however. Dance was not responsible : 
he no doubt received his instructions and carried them 
out ; and as a matter of fact, forty years later. Dance 
sent in a report to the Corporation as to points to be 
attended to in the improvement of prisons. 

^ I am indebted for this information, and also for the measurements given, to 
Mr. E. W. Mountford, the architect of the New Sessions House which is now 
being built on the site of Newgate. 

O cL 




The interest of Newgate, for the student of 
architecture, is practically concentrated on the north, 
south, and west facades. Here Dance was left to 
himself, and what he did supply was a very remarkable 
grasp of the imaginative conditions of his task. The 
business before him was to build a wall about 50 feet 
high at the south-west angle, diminishing to 43 feet at 
the north-west, and 300 feet long on the main facade, 
with no openings whatever except two doors, and the 
doors and windows of the keeper's house in the centre ; 
that is to say, the task before him was to get some 
architectural quality out of a gigantic wall, and it is 
significant that a hundred and thirty years ago such 
a body as the Corporation of London should have 
thought it necessary to get any quality out of the wall 
at all. Prisons, workhouses, and asylums, built since 
that date, have, with rare exceptions, been built with a 
sole regard to economy, and without any consciousness 
that so many gigantic eyesores were being left to a 
contemptuous posterity. Nowadays, a plain brick wall 
would be built, and there would be an end of it. On 
the other hand, the plain wall problem has occurred 
in sumptuous buildings, but as a rule the designer has 
done his best to conceal the fact that it is, after all, a 
wall. Sir John Soane, for instance, the most dis- 
tinguished of Dance's pupils, had to design three blind 
walls for the Bank of England, 320 feet, 344 feet, 
and 420 feet long respectively, and these were to 
enclose a bank — that is, a place of safe custody. By a 
curious inversion of ideas, Soane sought for his effect 
by devices that included a number of sham door and 


window openings, in other words, by means of the very 
architectural feature which the conditions of his problem 
forbade him to use. Soane's work shows scholarship 
and ability, but it is frigid and uninteresting, making 
no appeal to the emotions, because one feels that Soane 
shirked the difficulty, and never went to the heart of 
the matter. He tried the short cut of the second-rate 
man, and hoped to disguise the thinness of his invention 
by plastering on architectural detail. Then, again, 
there are the plain walls of fortresses and engineering 
works, buildings never without a certain dignity, yet 
of a negative value, inasmuch as they only accept, 
without further intellectual effort, the practical con- 
ditions under which they are built. But Dance was 
born and bred in the older tradition of English archi- 
tecture, and was not content with a mere blank 
surface, nor on the other hand did he try to turn the 
corner of the problem by any tricks of the trade. The 
quality of his work lies in the fact that he attacked 
his problem squarely. He had to build a prison wall, 
and a prison wall he meant it to be ; but his mind, 
stimulated by a very extraordinary influence, so worked 
on the conditions that he produced what was perhaps 
the finest abstract expression of wall surface to be found 
in Western architecture. 

The elements of Dance's design were very simple. 
On the principal front the wall space was divided into 
three projections and two main recesses. The centre 
projection was occupied by the keeper's house, which was 
carried one storey higher than the rest of the building ; 
each storey had five semicircular openings for windows. 

O >N 


and a door in the centre on the ground floor. The 
wall space on either side of this central block was set 
back above the ground floor, and the two main archi- 
tectural entrances, formidable doorways with grilles 
and festoons of fetters in the panel above, occupied the 
space between the centre block and the great flanking 
masses at the north-west and south-west corners. These 
masses returned along the north and south sides, repeat- 
ing the design without any ornament, except that above 
the first floor string course there were niches very 
boldly designed with a barbaric pediment and alternate 
stones running back into the wall on a curve, in a 
manner suggestive of certain refinements of design 
introduced by Hawksmoor. These niches stood in flat 
recesses under a semicircular arch. It appears that 
they were intended for sculpture, but only the four on 
the south and south-west side were occupied. I have 
not been able to ascertain anything as to the history of 
these statues. They were fine rollicking figures in the 
gallant manner of the early part of the eighteenth 
century. From north to south, the first was a female 
figure holding a Cap of Liberty, the next had the fasces 
of Justice, the third (facing the Old Bailey) held a 
dove, and the fourth had a cornucopia beside her. 
They were perfectly in scale with the architecture, but 
there was a bitter irrelevance in their presence on this 
building, for they were gracious and kindly, and dearly 
loved by the pigeons of St. Paul's. It is possible that 
they were the figures that adorned the older gaol, and 
that Dance worked them in where he could ; but they 
were not the least of the inconsistencies of this extra-^ 


ordinary building. The wall surfaces were rusticated up 
to the plain stone frieze without any architrave, which 
was surmounted by a modillion cornice and plain block- 
ing course. In the recesses on either side of the keeper's 
house were placed the two prison entrances illustrated in 
the text. The walls above the string course were here 
set back some distance, a most able piece of grouping. 
The two wings became complete compositions, balancing 
each other at either end of the building, and these, 
being repeated on the north and south sides, formed as 
it were two fortress-like buildings, guarding and sup- 
porting the central facade. The prison entrances which 
filled up the spaces between on the ground floor in- 
tensified the expression of monumental strength, and the 
set-back above them between the wings and the centre 
provided the play of light and shade, and that variation 
in the blocking out of the masses of the building, 
which was one of the distinctive features of this design. 
So much was done here with so little, and the in- 
tellectual level of the architecture, and the quality of 
hard thought that it displayed, were so high that they 
fully justified the consensus of opinion which places 
this building on a diflFerent plane from any other of its 

The detail of the work had much of the abnormal 
character of the whole design ; the monstrous profiles 
of the mouldings and the curious jointing to the 
voussoirs of the arch, the spacing of the masonry and 
the abstinence from everything but the barest essentials 
of architectural detail — all show that Dance was driving 
hard at the expression of an abstract idea. His building 

From a Photograph by Mr. Dockree. 


was a prison, and he wished his architecture to impress 
this fact on the imagination in all its stern reality. To 
attain this result he deliberately turned his back on the 
ordinary paraphernalia of design, he ignored the orders, 
he dispensed with carving, he determined to appeal to 
the emotions by the sheer bulk and proportion of his 
wall, for the proportions of this design give evidence of 
very careful thought. Dance seems to have played ap- 
proximately on one, one and a half, and double squares. 
The dimensions do not work out exactly, but I think 
it is clear that he was working on some sort of system ; 
and indeed this is the right and reasonable way in 
which to use any methods of proportion. They should 
be present in consciousness, but not as a rigid formula, 
rather as a restraining influence, acting and re-acting 
on the designer's mind with a constant intention towards 
rhythm and harmony. In Newgate Prison, as in most 
other designs in regular architecture, certain definite 
relations can be traced between the various parts ; for 
instance, the height from plinth to first string course was 
1 1 feet, the height from the string course to the frieze 
was 23 feet, about i to 2. The width of the projecting 
bays was 26 feet, and of the recesses between, 38, about 
2 to 3. The blocks of stone to the wall below the 
first string course were 5 feet by i foot 8 inches — that 
is, I to 3 — and it would be easy to trace this further. 
The one weak point in the design was the Governor's 
house in the centre of the west facade. Here, what 
one may call " the drawing of the design" was extremely 
feeble, and the succession of small arched openings was 
monotonous and insignificant. After the massively 


designed entrances on either side, the centre piece 
becomes an anti-climax. It is possible that Dance may 
have intended to get his effect by the contrast between 
the scale of the centre and that of the adjacent building, 
and hoped to accentuate the effect of his prison walls 
by suddenly altering his pitch when he came to the 
residence. Whether this was his intention or not, I 
think his imagination failed him here, the one disastrous 
flaw in a great architectural composition. 

It seems perhaps unkind to find in this single 
mistake some clue to the genesis of the design ; for, 
leaving this one failure out of account, we have here 
the puzzling fact of a work of first-rate ability pro- 
duced by a man not otherwise remarkable for genius. 
The case is to some extent a crucial one, and involves 
large issues. Is it possible on any showing for an 
architect to fluke into fine design ? Can he by a mere 
eflfbrt of will and moral abstinence project himself into 
such an intellectual atmosphere as will enable him to 
conceive of fine architecture and put it into practicable 
shape ? This latter point is, I may say at once, an 
essential condition of the problem, for the idea cannot 
be separated from its expression, and there have been 
very magnificent designs on paper which would be quite 
futile in execution. Fergusson supposed that such a 
prodigy was possible, and it has been the favourite 
contention of the amateur and the virtuoso. Mr. 
Ruskin in the last century, Lord Pembroke and Lord 
Burlington in the century before, may all be supposed 
to have tried their hands at architecture on this 
assumption. Prima facie ^ the hypothesis is not likely. 

From a Photograph by Mr. Dockree. 


In the other arts, careful training is admitted to be 
necessary. Even in literature it is thought to be 
desirable, and it is not likely that in architecture, the 
most purely intellectual and technical of the arts, such 
a tr^ning could be dispensed with. Nor is the case in 
point quite so impossible as Fergusson*s error repre- 
sented it ; for George Dance the younger, though 
he may not have been an architect of genius, was a 
highly trained and accomplished artist. Born in 1741, 
and a younger son of the City Surveyor who designed 
the Mansion House, George Dance learnt the rudi- 
ments of his business, and perhaps rather more, in his 
father's office, and in 1758 went to Italy to study 
architecture, in the liberal sense in which an archi- 
tectural training was then understood. For an 
architect was still supposed to be an artist, and in 
draughtsmanship, at all events, went through a training 
pretty nearly as thorough as his colleagues in painting 
and sculpture. After five years' study, he won in 
1763 the gold medal of the Academy of Arts at 
Parma, with a design for a public gallery, and honours 
showered thick upon him, for in the following year he 
was elected a member of the Academy of St. Luke at 
Rome, and was admitted to the Arcadi, one of those 
fantastic associations of artists and men of letters, 
beloved by the Italian virtuoso of the eighteenth 
century. He appears to have returned to England 
in 1764, and at once began practice. His first work 
was All Hallows Church, London Wall (1765-67); 
in 1768 he was elected a member of the original forty 
who formed the first Royal Academy, and in the same 



year was entrusted with the designs of Newgate ; 
altogether a brilliant record for a young man of seven- 
and- twenty. From this time forward Dance was 
looked upon as one of the leading architects of his 
day. In 1774 he designed St. Alphege, London Wall. 
In 1782-84 St. Luke's Hospital for Lunatics, in Old 
Street, was built from his designs, and from this date 
till the end of the century he continued the active 
exercise of his calling, designing Finsbury Square, 
Alfred Place, Bloomsbury, the Old Giltspur Street 
Prison, pulled down in 1855, Wilderness Park, the 
Grange at Alresford in Kent, Stratton Park, Hants, 
Coleorton in Leicestershire, Ashburnham Place, Sussex, 
and many other works. In 1798 he was made Pro- 
fessor of Architecture in the Royal Academy, but did 
not lecture. Had he only left us notes on the process 
by which he arrived at the Newgate design, the 
appointment might have been forgiven. 

Dance died in 1825, and was buried in St. Paulas. 
It is not necessary to pursue further the list of his 
architectural works. They are curiously unequal, and 
the older Dance grew, the feebler his design seems to 
have become. Newgate, his greatest effort, was the 
work of a young man fresh from Italy and under the 
influence of a great intellectual stimulus. The Church 
of All Hallows, London Wall, and the Hospital of St. 
Luke's, his best buildings after Newgate, belong to the 
earlier half of his life. All Hallows is a very original 
little building. It is practically a chapel with a square 
tower, surmounted by a graceful stone cupola, at the 
west end. The outside has plain brick arcading with 




IS - 




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- * I] 

W^tl r". 

' — '-'5 "! 


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. . ^ — -^ 

From a Photograph by Mr. Dockree. 


lights high up under the arches. The interior consists 
of a single aisle, with a semicircular apse half domed. 
The roof is a semicircular vault, intersected by the 
vaults to the clerestory windows, and is decorated with 
flat ribs, and panels of rather unusual details, all in 
plaster. The interior is divided into four bays by 
engaged Ionic columns, the west bay being occupied by 
the organ gallery. There are faults of immaturity in 
this building, but its solidity of construction and reti- 
cence in ornament show clearly the influence of his 
recent studies in Rome, for this was actually his first 
building in England. Within ten years of this date 
Dance had so far degenerated as to build in the same 
street the irritating little Church of St. Alphege, and 
then came such feeble designs as Finsbury Square, Alfred 
Place, Bloomsbury, various not very interesting country 
houses, and an idiotic design for a Gothic church. 

That Dance was an artist of some natural gift 
there can be no doubt ; it is proved, among other 
things, by the very interesting series of portraits of his 
contemporaries drawn by himself at the end of the 
eighteenth century, and now preserved in the British 
Museum. These designs were engraved by William 
Daniell, A.R.A., and published between the years 1808 
and 18 14, and, according to the preface, were made by 
Dance partly as a relaxation from ** the serious studies 
and more laborious employment of my professional 
life," and partly to put on record the features of all the 
eminent men of his time and acquaintance. The list 
includes Horace Walpole in his eictreme old age, bearing 
a close resemblance to the late Lord Beaconsfield, 


Brunei, Flaxman, Chambers the architect, with a great 
double chin, Joseph Haydn, most of the Academicians, 
Northcote, Barry, West, Smirke, Bacon, Banks, Paul 
Sandby, Hearne the antiquary, Mylne the architect, 
ZofFany, Hoppner, Cosway, Girtin, Thomas Hardwick, 
John Kemble, the Chevalier d'Eon in a woman's dress, 
and many others, altogether a gallery of portraits of 
very great interest. The drawings are all executed in 
the same manner. The subject presented his face side- 
ways, so that Dance was able to get the profile, the 
wig, and coat collar dark, all the rest kept very light. 
They are executed with great care and delicacy, and are 
indeed a faithful index of Dance's personality. Certain 
limitations at once appear. The drawings are the work 
of a rather timid man — a man of sincere and faithful 
intention, but of no particular dash, and incapable of 
getting into his stride with his work. They show 
accomplishment rather than ability. 

On the principle of judging a man by his friends. 
Dance's attainments should have ranked high, for 
he seems to have known all the best men of his 
time. Moreover, he came of a rather clever femily. 
His elder brother James was a man of good educa- 
tion and a certain ephemeral wit, who failed as a play- 
wright and comedian. Another of his brothers was 
the painter, Nathaniel Dance, or Sir Nathaniel Dance 
Holland, to give him his full title, who painted por- 
traits of George III. and his Queen, and indifferent 
historical pictures, with such success that he was able 
to retire from his art and sit in the House of Commons 
for East Grinstead for the last twenty years of his life. 

From a Photograph by Mr. Dockree. 


But one finds in each of the brothers the same lack of 
intellectual stamina : the playwright fails, the painter 
retires on his fortune, and the architect gives up 
architecture and amuses himself with his drawings, or 
rather his architecture gave up him, for in his later 
designs he was occupied with futile attempts to catch 
the fashionable manner of the time ; and indeed, in 
retiring from practice, he may have made his last serious 
effort as an artist. After all, the old City Surveyor was 
a better man than his sons. Leaving Newgate out of 
account, the steeples of St. Leonard's, Shoreditch, and 
St. Botolph, Aldgate, even the Mansion House, are 
better than anything done by his more celebrated son. 
Moreover, he was a man of bold and adventurous 
temperament. In the Church of St. Luke's, Old 
Street, he made a valiant attempt to break the record 
in obelisks, for he put a gigantic stone obelisk on the 
top of a tower. The elder Dance was a man of a 
fine robust vulgarity, and did not err in the direction 
of finikin refinement. Perhaps one might assign to his 
influence some part of the vigorous purpose shown in 
the Newgate design. But there seems to have been 
no vitality in young Dance's inspiration. It was 
superficial, evanescent, a manner caught up for the 
occasion, not the intimate expression of his real self. 
How then is one to account for the sombre power of 
such a design as Newgate ? The answer will, I think, 
be found in the influence of another mind — ^an influ- 
ence that must have completely fascinated and dominated 
Dance for the time, but gradually faded away when he 
returned to England and lost touch of the original. 


Dance went to Italy in 1758. Now, in 175 1, 
Bouchard of Rome had published the first collected 
series of Piranesi*s works in a great folio, entitled 
Le Magnificenze di Roma — Le Piu remarcabili. In 
this were included many inventions in the manner of 
the ancient buildings of Rome, together with " Molti 
Caprici di Carceri sotteranei." First come thirty-four 
double plates of the great buildings of Rome, then a 
beautiful set of small oblong etchings of architecture 
and landscape, and then the remarkable prison plates. 
After the carefully executed drawing of the double 
plates, and the easy freedom of the smaller etchings, 
Piranesi seems to have determined to let himself go in 
pure caprice. He had saturated his mind with the vast 
ambition of Roman architecture, he had exhausted his 
interest in the technical problems of etching, and he 
now used his mastery of the etched line to express the 
wildest and most fantastic conceptions of architecture, 
the famous "caprici di carceri** ; so it is engraved on the 
tablet of rock on the title-page, a tablet set in Cydopsean 
stones, with a wild figure of a man screaming on the 
top and bound with mighty chains, and in the back- 
ground the interminable corridors that Piranesi loved, 
seen through a vast encircling arch. The plate is 
typical. Piranesi might have been thinking of 
Horace — 

Te semper anteit saeva necessitas 
Clavos trabales et cuneos manu 
Gestans ahena, nee severus 

Uncus abest, liquidumque plumbum. 

In nearly all these plates there appear the enormous 

From a Photograph by Mr. Dockrcc, 

By G. Pirancsi, Rome, 17 51. 


beams and blocks of stone, the nightmare stairs, winding 
upwards and downwards into unfathomable space, the 
iron grilles and fetters suggesting instruments of 
torture, dimly imagined and adumbrated rather than 
realised in these portentous drawings. Of architectural 
detail there was none, for Piranesi, the greatest archi- 
tectural draughtsman that ever lived, was tired of it, 
and he seems to have been working for abstract 
architecture — he felt intensely the power on the 
imagination of huge masses of building, thrown 
about, as one might put it, by some Titanic archi- 
tect. So he ran riot in these great halls, and piled 
Pelion upon Ossa till his brain snapped and his in- 
vention fell back into the vast obscurity of horror. 
At the end of the series come three drawings of 
chaos, where death lies grinning amidst the ruins of 

These seventeen drawings are, I think, the most 
extraordinary cflFort of invention ever attempted in 
architectural drawing. That they are the work of a 
madman is probable. That megalomania which clings 
to the Italian grew on Piranesi till it overthrew the 
balance of his brain. Yet with all their traces of 
insanity, they struck a note undreamt of hitherto, one 
that the great draughtsmen of the Renaissance, with all 
their scholarship and passion for the antique, had 
missed, for it was as if Piranesi had thought himself 
back into the spirit of the builders of the baths and 
aqueducts that he drew, and had penetrated to the 
Roman's secret, that the highest quality of architecture 
is found in mighty building. 


The drawings made an immense sensation in 
Rome, and when Dance came to Italy a few years 
later, a mere boy, full of enthusiasm, he found Piranesi 
in the heyday of his reputation, and it was nearly 
inevitable that his own thin personality should fall 
under the glamour of Piranesi's superlative draughts- 
manship* That they were acquainted is, I think, pretty 
nearly certain. Piranesi was on friendly terms with 
Robert Adam, Mylne, and the leading English archi- 
tects of the time, and was indeed a Fellow of the 
Society of Antiquaries. Moreover, when Dance was 
elected in 1764 to the academy of the Arcadi, Piranesi 
was already a member of this body under the name of 
Salcindio Tisio. The feeling of Piranesi's " Carceri '* is 
so faithfully reproduced in Dance's design for the outer 
walls of Newgate that I think there can be little doubt 
that this was the source from which Dance drew his 

Thus we reach some reasonable explanation of 
Dance's design, both in its strength and in its weakness. 
We need no longer imagine that it was either a fluke or 
that it arrived out of space ; and indeed no practical 
designer ever supposed that it did. The factors in the 
case are these : on the one hand we find a design of 
most unusual ability made by quite a young architect 
whose record of distinction with all its brilliancy had 
been mainly academical ; on the other hand we find 
that, only seven years previous to Dance's visit to Italy, 
a series of extraordinary inventions of prisons had been 
issued by Piranesi, a series that took by storm the 
cultivated society of Rome. That Dance was familiar 


with these publications there can be no doubt, in view 
(i) of Pirancsi's reputation ; (2) of his relations with 
English architects ; and (3) of the fact that both he 
and Dance were members of the same association ; and 
when one finds the very essence of Pirancsi's spirit 
realised in Dance's design, the conclusion is irresistible 
that without the " Invenzioni di Carceri " we should 
never have had the prison walls of Newgate. The 
very weakness of some of Dance's subsequent work 
bears out this view. So long as he was under the spell 
of Piranesi's fiery genius he was able to produce austere 
and even masterly architecture, but when he was left 
to stand by himself his imagination flagged. Dance 
was not a strong man. Amiable and accomplished, 
his was one of the natures that can follow a good lead, 
but seem to possess little individual initiative. Instead 
of advancing on the promise of his youth, his work 
grew feebler as he grew older, and finally lapsed into 
the insignificant eflFort of the mere practitioner. One 
seeks in vain in his later work for a repetition of that 
note of genius that had sounded not uncertainly in his 
earlier years. 

Perhaps, after all, our gibes at the paper designer 
are not well founded. It is true he has little idea how 
to carry out his own designs, and his ready pencil glides 
easily over passages which are a source of infinite 
tribulation to the man who has to see work through. 
Yet even genius cannot spin incessantly out of its inner 
consciousness ; rather its business is to assimilate what 
is good on every hand, even from projects and per- 
spectives that never have been and never can be realised. 


At Newgate, for once in a way, the roles were reversed* 
The draughtsman was the man of gemus, the architect 
only his accomplished interpreter. But this is the 
exception that proves the rule ; there has been no other 


1. Jean Goujon : His Life and Work, By Reginald Lister. London: 

Duckworth, 1903. 

2. Le Primatice, B7 L. Dimier. Paris : Leroux, 1900. 

3. Women and Men of the French Renaissance. B7 Edith Sichel. 

Westminster : Constable, 1902. Catherine de Midicis. By 
Edith Sichel. London : Constable, 1905. 

4. Les du Cerceau. Par le Baron Henri de Geymfiller. Paris : 

. . . . , 1887. 

5. La Renaissance en France, Par L6on Palustre. 3 vols. Paris : 

. . . , 1879-1885. 

6. Les Comptes des Bhtiments du Roi. Par le Marquis L£on de 

Laborde. 2 vols. Paris: . . . , 1877, 1880. 
And other works. 

The sixteenth century is perhaps the most interesting 
period in the whole of French history ; and a complete 
account of the art of the French Ren^ssance might 
natiurally be looked for from French historians. Much 
excellent work has indeed been done by archaeologists 
since the middle of the last century ; but, as one of the 
ablest and latest of French writers remarks, the history 
of this period has yet to be written. Its study is 
attended by peculiar difficulties and there are lamentable 
gaps in the evidence. France has suflFered from wanton 
destruction far more than England. With the excep- 



tion of Nonesuch, and one or two others that can be 
counted on one*s fingers, nearly all our great historical 
houses of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries have 
survived to the present day; but in France probably 
half of the finest examples have either disappeared alto- 
gether or have sunk to base uses which, more or less 
completely, obscure their original purpose. 

The chief architectural eflFort of the Renaissance in 
France was concentrated on house-building ; and great 
houses, as belonging to the privileged classes, were the 
first to suflFer from the French revolutionaries. What 
is less intelligible, however, is the callous indifl^rence 
shown by the French aristocracy themselves before the 
Revolution. They do not appear to have attached the 
least importance to their hereditary dwelling-places. 
It was not merely that they pulled them about to 
make way for modern improvements, but that they 
were ready to sacrifice any one of them that showed 
a reasonable prospect of conversion into cash. A 
prince of the house of Conde destroyed, in 1799, the 
Chateau of Fere en Tardenois, probably an early work 
of Bullant. In 1780-82 the same nobleman had the 
entrance to Ecouen pulled down, and sold the Chateau 
de Creil for old materials in order to save the cost of 
maintenance. So early as 17 19 the Regent ordered the 
destruction of the Chapel of the Valois as the cheapest 
way of finishing it oflF. The demolition of the Chateau 
de St. Maur, one of De I'Orme^s principal works, was also 
due to the Conde family ; and, though the Chateau de 
Madrid was in fact destroyed during the French Revolu- 
tion, Louis XVI. had actually ordered the sale of it for 


old materials in 1778, together with the Chateaux of 
Blois, VincenneSy and La Muette. 

Another cause that contributed to the ruin of many 
of these palaces was the improvidence of the royal 
builders. They seemed to build for the sake of build- 
ing, without care either for completion or maintenance. 
Francis I. ordered a palace, or a hunting-box on a 
scarcely inferior scale, wherever his fancy took him, 
but he seems to have lost his interest in the building 
before the roof was on ; and Du Cerceau remarks that 
his buildings were often left to perish for want of a 
slater to patch the roofs. Catherine de Medicis was 
possessed by the same mania for building on an im- 
possible scale. The Chapel of the Valois, in some ways 
the most monumental effort of French architecture of 
the \ sixteenth century, was never completed. After 
barely starting the Tuileries, she dashed off into the 
costly undertaking of the Hotel de Soissons ; but 
neither building was finished when she died. The 
Tuileries was destroyed by the Commune ; and the 
only vestige of the Hotel de Soissons is Jean BuUant's 
forlorn - looking column attached to the wall of the 
Halle aux Bles. 

After Catherine's death there was a lull for a time. 
The work that followed in the first half of the seven- 
teenth century is of admirable quality, rather than 
quantity. It was as if France was holding its breath 
for the colossal enterprise of Louis XIV. If the 
country had suffered from the caprice and uncertainty 
of Francis, it suflFered no less from the inexhaustible 
vanity of the " Roi Soleil " ; and there was added to 


the national burdens the monstrous cost of Versailles. 
This seems to have terminated the royal opportunities 
of building ; and a hundred years later the French 
Revolution made a clean sweep of everything that it 
did not need for itself. 

Had it not been for Alexandre Lenoir we should be 
even worse off than we are. When the French Revolu- 
tion was at its height Lenoir went about searching for 
such fragments of sixteenth-century art as might have 
survived the storm, paying here, entreating there, doing 
a work of inestimable value to future generations. 
From an architect named Jullien he bought, for 440 
francs, the column to Henry III., now at St. Denis. 
He saved the frontispiece of Anet and the gateway of 
Gaillon, now in the Ecole des Beaux- Arts, the fragments 
of the screen of St. Germain TAuxerrois, the altar of 
6couen, now at Chantilly, what was left of the fountain 
of Diana at Anet, and other priceless fragments. 
Lenoir stored his salvage in a museum now occupied 
by the 6cole des Beaux-Arts in the Rue des Petits 
Augustins ; and from this museum the sculpture was 
subsequently transferred to the Louvre, and in certain 
cases to its legitimate owners. It is true that Lenoir 
put his fragments together in a fashion that resembles 
Wyatt*s treatment of the tombs at Salisbury ; never- 
theless his name should be gratefully remembered as 
that of the man who had the courage to preserve 
these links with the past at a time of the most 
terrific iconodasm the world has ever seen. In 
the galleries of the Hotel Carnavalet there is a 
portrait of Lenoir, a shrewd, kindly face in suggestive 


proximity to the ill-omened features of Danton, Marat, 
and Robespierre. 

An unfortunate phase followed the First Empire. 
Napolean I. wrote his hand in very legible letters on 
certain of the royal palaces ; but, when the Bourbons 
returned, their object was to revive the associations of 
the old regime, and with this idea they embarked on a 
wholesale course of restoration, with the most unhappy 
results. The methods of French architects when 
engaged in restorations are painfully familiar. Their 
object seems to be to transform the growth of centuries 
into a brand-new building of the style and character of 
what the architect arbitrarily selects as the original 
design. Viollet-le-Duc's work at Pierrefonds and else- 
where shows the extreme point of futility to which this 
theatrical instinct can be carried. Much of Fontaine- 
bleau is unreadable on account of the restoration made 
by M. AJaux to the taste of Louis-Philippe, and St. 
Germain-cn-Laye has been denuded of any artistic and 
historical interest that might have survived from an 
unfortunate past. 

Thus, by the middle of the nineteenth century, how- 
ever much interest was felt in the work of the earlier 
Renaissance in France, it was difficult to arrive at 
authentic historical facts. A good deal of plausible 
speculation was indulged in ; large attributions to 
Italian artists were made ; and the history of the period 
was written chiefly by guesswork. In 1 842 Callet, an 
antiquary of some note, came across a MS. in the 
Bibliotheque Imperiale, and published his new facts in 
a historical notice on the life and works of certain 


French architects ; but, according to Berty, he buried 
his facts in a tissue of inventions, and his pamphlet is 
quite untrustworthy. The first serious effort towards 
a historical account of the French Renaissance was made 
by the Marquis Leon de Laborde in his Renaissance des 
Arts h la Cour de France (1852-55). M. Berty pub- 
lished in i860 Ws Grands Architectes Franfais de la 
Renaissance^ a rare and very useful little book, now out 
of print. Meanwhile, elaborately illustrated mono- 
graphs, such as M. Pfnor*s works on Anet and Fon- 
tainebleau, Reveil's Jean Goujon^ and others, appeared 
from time to time ; but for the historical student the 
scientific study of this period dates from the issue in 
1877-80 of the Comptes des BdHments du Roij 1528- 
1 57 1 , suivies des documents inedits sur les chdteaux royaux 
et les beaux^arts au XVI. stick} 

The evidence presented by these accounts is unassail- 
able. Together with such records as the Comptes des 
depenses du Chdteau du Gaillon^ published by Deville in 
1 850, the works of Du Cerceau and Philibert de FOrme, 
and the comparative study of the buildings and monu- 
ments themselves, they form the chief materials available 
for the history of French art in the sixteenth century. 
The vague conjectures of earlier writers have given way 
to uncontrovertible facts ; but, as will appear, the 
history of the French Renaissance is not yet sufficiently 

^ These accoanti were discovered by Laborde in the Biblioth^ue about 1850 
but were not published in full till 1877, after his death. The MSS. which Laborde 
transcribed were not the originals, but a digest made for . Andr6 F61ibien des Avaux 
late in the seventeenth century, as material for a history of the Royal Palaces. M. 
Gniflfrey (Introduction to the Comptes) estimates that F61ibien must have had some 
60 to 70 registers of accounts of the royal buildings of the seventeenth century, all of 
which are lost. 



advanced for a final and authoritative statement. Serious 
difFerences of opinion exist between French critics. M. 
Dimicr and M. Palustre, for instance, take exactly 
opposite views of the same group of facts. Much has 
yet to be done in the way of sifting and interpreting 
the evidence ; and the very abundance of the material 
collected makes the study of this period somewhat 

Since 1877 the chief effort of the best French 
scholars has been directed to checking off the historical 
monuments of the Renaissance by the evidence of such 
documents as the Compies des Bdtiments du Roi. In 
1879 M. Leon Palustre began the issue of his monu- 
mental work on the Renaissance in France. His scheme 
aimed at giving a complete account of the first hundred 
years, with illustrations drawn from every part of 
France. The first volume deals with the North and 
the lie de France ; volume ii., published in 1881, com- 
pleted the lie de France and Normandy ; volume iii., 
issued in 1885, includes Brittany, Maine, Poitou, and 
Charente. At this point the work was broken ofF, and 
has not been resumed. That in a treatise of this magni- 
tude there should be inaccuracies, and that some of the 
inferences drawn may be doubtful, is inevitable. Yet, 
even in its unfinished state, the work remains a splendid 
undertaking. The vast area of research covered, the 
clearness with which M. Palustre marshalled his facts, 
and the acute and penetrating criticism brought to bear 
on the historical evidence, rendered his book a fine 
achievement of French research on lines which have 
been singularly neglected by students in other countries. 



In 1887 the Baron de Geymiiller published his im- 
portant work on the Du Cerccau family, and in 1898, 
in German, his Architecture of the Renaissance in France. 
In 1900 M. Dimier published his essay on the life and 
work of Primaticcio, a learned and valuable book, 
which goes beyond the limits of a biography, for the 
writer has incidentally dealt with every branch of con- 
temporary art in France. M. Dimier's graceful scholar- 
ship and the lucidity of his style make his Life of 
Primaticcio perhaps the most readable introduction to 
the study of the French Renaissance that has yet 
appeared. On the whole, and in a desultory sort of 
way, there is a good deal of sound historical work to 
show, and yet there is less than one would expect. In 
France, as in England, during the last fifty years, there 
have been two streams of thought, out of relation to 
each other, and indeed flowing in opposite directions. 
While such men as MM. Palustre, De Montaiglon, 
Courajod, and De Geymiiller were devoting genuine 
research to the study of the Renaissance, the interest 
of the larger part of the average architectural public 
was arrested by the theories of M. Viollet-le-Duc, 
and by his marvellous faculty of building up the 
most convincing history on the smallest possible 
basis of evidence. Large theories seem to have an 
irresistible attraction for the French intelligence ; 
and Viollet-le-Duc*s mediaevalism, old-fashioned 
and insincere as it may seem to us now, attracted 
at the time a disproportionate amount of attention. 
There is evidence of a reaction from these histrionics. 
The best French writers and artists are steadily re- 


covering a great tradition which they never ought 
to have lost. 

The study of architecture suffers much from the 
want of clear definitions. We talk of the Renaissance, 
but the Renaissance may mean very different things ; 
and when a writer says that the Renaissance in France 
dates from such and such a year, it is necessary to ask 
what he means by the word. From one point of view 
the presence of an Ionic capital in a Gothic screen would 
indicate the arrival of the Renaissance, and would carry 
the date back well into the fifteenth century ; from 
an architect's point of view, such details would be mere 
accidents. The Renaissance cannot be said to have 
been introduced into a country until the designers and 
workmen of that country have grasped the constructive 
principles of Renaissance design — a process which 
•occupies one or more generations, and cannot be 
limited to any particular year. This stage was not 
attained in France till nearly a hundred years after 
the first vague echo of the Italian Renaissance had 
found its way across the Alps. 

Moreover, the French Renaissance differed widely 
from that of Italy. It is well known that the Italians 
never absolutely lost touch of the Roman tradition. 
Their Gothic was an exotic ; they never mastered the 
principles of this architecture of thrust and counter- 
thrust ; hence the inferiority of Italian Gothic to French. 
On the other hand, they preserved, in a rudimentary 
way, their instinct for the column and the lintel, for the 
•dead-weight construction of the Romans ; and when 


the revival of letters recalled their attention to classical 
civilisation, this dormant interest was reawakened ; and 
the extraordinary achievements of the great Italians in 
Neo-classic architecture seem to have been largely due 
to this inherited instinct. Even in France the classical 
instinct seems never to have expired in those parts 
where Roman civilisation had taken strongest hold. 
Some of the earliest examples of Renaissance design 
appear at Avignon and Marseilles ; and though allow- 
ance must be made for the papal residence at Avignon, 
and the proximity of Marseilles to Italy, there is 
an unexplained residuum in the strongly marked 
Roman character of this early work. For instance, 
the entrance to the ruins of the Tour d'Aigues 
(Vaucluse) bears a close resemblance to the manner 
of imperial Roman architecture. Scarcely two hundred 
years, in fact, elapsed between the last efforts of 
Romanesque in the south of France and the first 
attempts at Neo-classic. The old tradition must have 
been close at hand in the subliminal consciousness of 
the Provencal. 

The state of things in other parts of France, at any 
rate in the lie de France, was different. Here there 
had existed for centuries an architecture which had 
attained to a perfection of form and a mastery of 
technique within its own intention unrivalled since 
the great days of Byzantium. In its later phases 
technical ability in building outlived the original in- 
spiration. The masons who could build the winding 
staircases of Blois and Chambord could hardly have 
been inferior in skill to the Gothic masons from whom 


they inherited their craft. De TOrme, in his Livre 
d^ Architecture^ dwells with much emphasis on the 
importance of the knowledge of setting out masonry ; 
and enlarges abundantly on his own science. Yet he 
could hardly have taught anything in this regard to the 
masons of Blois. There was, in fact, on the one hand, 
a considerable amount of technical building skill avail- 
able, and on the other hand, among laymen, and what 
may be called the building public, a comparatively high 
degree of civilisation. The layman's ideas of refine- 
ment and his ideals in architecture were ahead of his 
powers of realisation. The problem at the end of the 
fifteenth and beginning of the sixteenth century was 
to bring this building ability into line, to educate it 
into mastery of the new methods of expression, in 
other words, to teach it the architecture required by 
altered standards of knowledge and civilisation. The 
process, therefore, was not that of the development 
of latent powers along lines only half forgotten, as in 
Italy, but of the transformation and conversion of 
existing powers from one channel into another ; and 
the slowness of this process, the repeated failure of the 
mason to grasp the new intention, may possibly account 
for the impatience, the positive fury of building which 
seems to have possessed Francis I. and most of the 
great noblemen of his court. Yet a hundred years 
were hardly time enough in which to displace the 
tradition of centuries. 

The first symptoms of change appeared in the latter 
part of the fifteenth century. Rene of Anjou intro- 
duced certain Italian artists who worked for him at 


Aix, Angers, and Bar-le-duc,^ and the next considerable 
importation occurred after Charles VIII/s Italian 
expedition of 1495. 

The culminating point of this earlier Renaissance, 
a Ren^ssance essentially of craftmanship rather than 
of architecture, was reached at Gaillon, built for the 
great cardinal, George of Amboise, of whom it was said 
that he lived so full a life that he barely left himself 
time to take to his bed and die. The glories of Gaillon 
are now represented by one poor fragment in the court 
of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. With all its sumptuous 
decoration, Gaillon was far behind contemporary Italian 
work. Architecturally it was a poor conception, such 
indeed as we should expect from the master-masons 
who had lost their bearings, and whose principal 
function was to provide masonry for the Italian artists 
to decorate. All the sculpture and ornament were 
executed by the Italians. Paganino made the medallions 
of emperors ; Antonio Juste of Florence carved the 
statues in the chapel and the bas-reliefs in the court ; 
and Richard of Carpi, perhaps the first of the " menui- 
siers*' of Carpi, inlaid the stalls with their beautiful 
intarsia work, now in the Abbey Church of St. Denis. 
The architect did not exist ; and all that was expected 
of the builder was that he should put up walls that 
would stand and that would give plenty of space for 
the Italian artists to wo^k on. Gaillon is typical of the 
great French house of the first quarter of the sixteenth 
century, such as Azay le Rideau, Villers-Cotterets, the 

^ In 1472 the tomb of Charles of Aojou at Mans was executed for King Rin£ 
by Laurana. 


older parts of Chenonceaux, and the chateaux of the 
Loire valley. Beautiful as they are, these buildings 
are beautiful mainly by their detail and decorations, 
by their " travaux de choix," they make their appeal, 
not through subtlety in proportion, or the audacity of 
simple mass, but through the exquisite delicacy of their 
surface ornament. Stripped of the latter, they would 
be seen to be rather rudimentary efforts in architecture, 
little more than the routine work of masons, chancing 
more or less unconsciously into happy accidents of 

In France, as in England, the first fifty years of the 
Renaissance were occupied with experiments in the details 
of ornament ; but the difference is that, whereas in 
England the Italian influence disappeared at the death 
of Henry VIII. and was too weak to establish a per- 
manent footing, in France the development of architec- 
ture proceeded steadily to its full maturity, with the 
result that, historically, France got a start of England 
of some fifty to seventy years — a lead which that 
country has never lost. The man who contributed 
most to this result was Francis I., "un amateur du 
premier rar^," as M. Dimier calls him. Politically the 
Italian expeditions led to nothing but disaster for 
France, and unkind remarks have been made by 
English historians touching the influence of the Italian 
Renaissance on French morality, but of the service 
that Italy rendered to France in the matter of culture 
there can be no sort of doubt. France learnt from 
Italy the lesson of humanism ; and the readiest of 
French pupils was Francis himself. When Louis XII. 


went into Italy he sacked and plundered, and returned 
unmoved by what he saw, to settle down in France 
as "the father of his people." But where his pre- 
decessors merely looked, Francis considered and learnt. 
Moreover, throughout his life he had the rare advan- 
tSLgc of the guidance of his sister, Margaret of Navarre, ( 
'* la perle des Valois," one of the most attractive minds 
of the sixteenth century. Miss Sichel, in her thought- 
ful and sympathetic studies, has traced the influence of 
this rare spirit on the intellectual life of the time ; and 
perhaps it would not be too much to say that what 
was best in the French Renaissance was due to the 
sympathy and intelligence of Margaret quite as much 
as to the direct initiation of her brother. 

Yet no king ever played the royal patron on a 
more lavish scale than Francis I. In their control of 
church patronage both he and his successors found 
a ready means of rewarding their favourite artists 
with little inconvenience to themselves. Primaticcio 
was made Abbe of St. Martin es Aires de Troyes ; 
Pierre Lescot was a Canon of Notre Dame ; and Phili- 
bert de TOrme enjoyed the revenues of two or three 
abbeys in addition to a canonry at Notre Dame. 
From the first Francis used every effort to induce 
Italian artists to settle in France. The Justes of 
Florence were already there, and busy at Tours. 
Solario, the pupil of Leonardo da Vinci, had been at 
work in 1 508 ; and Francis persuaded the great master 
himself to settle in France. But Leonardo was very 
old, and the experiment was probably a failure. Nor 
was the king more fortunate with Andrea del Sarto. 


Then came the disastrous defeat of Pavia ; and it was 
not till 1527 that Francis was able to resume his 
schemes with another great importation of Italian 
artists. Work was started at Fontainebleau with the 
famous ^*Devis" of 1528. II Rosso came in 1531, 
and remained in control till his death in 1541 or 1542- 
II Rosso was succeeded by Primaticcio, who, after 
routing Serlio and Cellini, became practically sole 
dictator of the arts at the court of France from 1541 
till his death in 1570. The latter part of the reign 
of Francis I. and the reign of Henry II. form, in fact, 
a turnii^-point in the history of French art ; and it 
is in regard to this period that the most serious differ- 
ences of opinion exist among French scholars. What 
were the relations of the old master-builders to the 
new architects ? what was the part played by the Italians, 
and by Primaticcio in particular, in the reformation 
of French art? what was Primaticcio's own position, 
and what were his relations to his colleagues ? On 
these and similar questions French writers maintain 
quite contrary opinions with a learning and ability 
which is the more paralysing in that it appears to be 
equally shared by the rival camps. 

Of Primaticcio himself, the most complete account 
that has yet appeared is given in M. Dimier's Life 
already referred to. The author has visited all the 
collections which are known to contain examples of 
Primaticcio, and his book contains a full catalogue 
raisonnie of his work. Whether there are further 
examples to be unearthed, for instance, from the Windsor 
collection of drawings, or not, is yet to be seen. There 


is a remarkable painting at Wollaton, assigned to 
Primaticcio by a good authority, which seems to have 
escaped M, Dimier ; but his research has been ex- 
tremely laborious. Although a large margin has to 
be allowed for his skilful manipulation of hypothesis, 
his book is probably authoritative in regard to Prima- 
ticcio*s work, always excepting his account of that 
artist's pretensions in architecture. 

The ascertained facts of Primaticcio*s life are very 
few. He was born at Bologna, 1504-05, and began 
his career as a pupil of Innocent d'Imola, and of Barto- 
lommeo Bagnacavallo, a pupil of Raphael. In 1526 he 
was at work under Giulio Romano as painter and 
stucco-worker in the Palazzo del Te at Mantua. In 
1532 Romano selected him for the service of Francis I.; 
and Primaticcio was working at Fontainebleau in 1533. 
In 1535 he appears in the Comptes as **conducteur 
et deviseur des dits ouvrages de stuqs et peinture." 
In 1 540 he was sent to Rome to collect works of art 
for the King, and returned in 1542. Meanwhile II 
Rosso had died, and Primaticcio succeeded him in the 
conduct of the works at Fontainebleau, with the 
appointment of " valet de chambre " to the King. In 
1544 he was made Abbe of St. Martin es Aires de 
Troyes, He was again at Rome in 1548. In 1559 
he succeeded Philibert de I'Orme as Controller of the 
Royal Buildings. He was at Bologna in 1563, but 
returned in the same year to France, where he died 
in 1570. 

For the last thirty years of his life Primaticcio was 
the most prominent artist at the court of France. 


M. Dimier says that not only were all the decorations 
of Fontainebleau in his hands, but that he practically 
controlled the royal manufactures and workshops. Of 
his actual contributions in this regard, an exhaustive 
analysis is given in M. Dimier 's work. Primaticcio 
was an admirable and prolific draughtsman and a 
skilful man of affairs ; and there can be no doubt that 
he exercised a predominant influence on the art of 
France. In the minor arts he was supreme. Du 
Cerceau drew on him for his arabesques ; and in sculp- 
ture, at any rate, Goujon and Germain Pilon owed 
something of their manner to his designs. His 
influence, moreover, was largely personal and individual, 
in the sense that he directly controlled a large stafi^ 
of assistants whose only business and means of liveli- 
hood were the execution of his designs. 

M. Dimier points out that the famous school of 
Fontainebleau in no sense resembled the Gobelins 
school under Louis XIV. ; that is, it was not a school 
with common methods and traditions, in which the 
work of the diflferent members might be more or less 
interchangeable. The school of Fontainebleau was 
such only in the sense of a common studio ; and the 
Italians whom Primaticcio imported were, to use M. 
Dimier*s phrase, "troupes de circonstance " — mercen- 
aries plying for hire, here one day and away the next. 
These men spread the influence of Primaticcio's manner 
in so far as they worked to his designs and sketches. 
It is at this point, however, that it is impossible to 
follow all M. Dimier 's conclusions. He maintains that 
Primaticcio was not only a great painter, modeller, and 

By Germain Pilon. 


designer of arabesques and patterns, but that he was 
also a great architect, and that he, in fact, designed 
buildings. In support of this he advances various 
plausible suggestions, but no evidence, except the 
patent of 1559, by virtue of which Primaticcio suc- 
ceeded Philibert de TOrme. That the appointment 
was due to a skilfully conducted court intrigue seems 
certain. One of the first acts of Francis 11. was to 
dismiss De TOrme and his brother in favour of Prima- 
ticcio. Six months later Francis dismissed Bullant, 
and the only architect left in possession was Pierre 
Lescot at the Louvre — ^a good fortune which he prob- 
ably owed to his being the only one of the three who 
could claim gentle birth. M. Dimier argues that 
Primaticcio's post of Controller of the Royal Buildings 
implied real architectural capacity, though the evidence 
of the Comptes makes it perfectly clear that it did 
not necessarily imply anything of the sort.^ But, not 
content with this assumption, M. Dimier asserts that 
Primaticcio rendered his most signal service to the art 
of France in rescuing its control from the architects 
and transferring it to the painters. The position 
appears somewhat contradictory ; but, by way of 
clinching it, M. Dimier advances an extraordinary 
theory on the relations of architecture to the other arts 
— a theory which I regret to see has been swallowed 
whole by Mr. lister. 

Nothing, says M. Dimier, is so disastrous to the 
arts as that their general control should fall into the 
hands of architects, as happened, for instance, in the 

^ This point it discussed in detail in the study of De TOrme. 


case of Percier and Fontaine early in the last century. 
Compare, he says, what they did, with the work 
of Raphael, Giulio Romano, Rubens, and Lebrun, 
painters who controlled every branch of art, directing 
even the masons and supplying designs in every trade. 
This was the constant practice of Italy, and hence its 
superiority in the arts. As examples of the absolute 
control of the painter, M. Dimier gives the column of 
Henry III., now in St. Denis, and the Three Graces of 
Germain Pilon in the Louvre ; no architect, he says, 
would ever have thought of such things : 

Ces inventions, ces ressources, cette libertd, ce goflt grand, 
d^gag^ de I'^troit canon des genres, sont d'un peintre et d'un 
peintre seul ; 

which, by the way, is a little hard on Germain Pilon, 
who, after all, was a sculptor, and did, in fact, carve 
these adorable figures. 

This theory is indeed startling. A favourite position 
in England, at any rate during the last generation, has 
been the unity of the arts, and their basis in architec- 
ture. Scarcely less important is the older — ^and more 
famous — law of the difFerentiation of the arts, vXtj xai 
Tpoiroi^ lUfiTjiTeto^. Into the midst of these principles 
M. Dimier 's pronouncement falls like a bomb-sheU. 
Art to M. Dimier is summed up in painting ; the other 
arts only deserve recognition in so far as they subserve 
the ends of the painter, and, as we may say, enable him 
to display his wares to the best advantage. Now one 
would admit at once that the highest perfection of the 
arts has been reached when they all work serenely 


together ; but it is a very difFercnt thing to insist that 
two of the three principal arts, as we may for con- 
venience call them, should resign in favour of the art 
which, as Plato might say, is the furthest removed from 

As to MM. Percier and Fontaine, we may give 
them away at once. Their work was mannered and 
extraordinarily tedious ; but that only proves that 
MM. Percier and Fontaine were rather stupid archi- 
tects, and worked for a public that enjoyed striking 
attitudes. Alter the name and the position is unten- 
able. Inigo Jones, for example, controlled both the 
design and the decoration of the double cube room at 
Wilton, and the result was hardly a failure. Wren, 
again, produced some of the most charming interiors 
in the world, and, had he been allowed his own way, 
would have completed the decoration of St. Paul's in a 
manner worthy of its glorious architecture ; but the 
painter appeared on the scene in the person of Sir 
James Thornhill. As for the Italians, it is well known 
that they studied architecture as closely as other branches 
of art, and might, in certain cases, be just as well called 
architects as painters. In so far as such men as Baldas- 
sare Peruzzi, or even Raphael, dealt with architecture, 
they dealt with it as architects, not as painters, which at 
once separates their practice from the architectural efforts 
of Rubens or Lebrun. 

It seems that M. Dimier underrates the function of 
architecture. He conceives of it as so much scene- 
painting realised in stone or bricks and mortar. That 
is, he is solely concerned with the frontispiece, with the 


decoration of the wall-surface inside and out. It does 
not seem to occur to him that a building is an elaborate 
organism of which each part has a certain definite rela- 
tion to every other part ; that these parts are inter- 
dependent and cannot be altered or removed without 
aflfecting the whole, and that their proportions and 
distribution are arrived at by working out the condi- 
tions and necessities of the problem as a whole. In his 
desire to exalt his hero, M. Dimier seems to have for- 
gotten that the development of architecture finds itself 
in problems of construction, in the dome and its counter- 
poise, in the covering in of great spaces, in the meeting 
of enormous weights. The solution of these difficulties 
is, we suppose, taken for granted by the dashing painter- 
architect, who leaves it to the builder, or to anybody 
else who is content to do such servile work. Yet it is 
a historical fact that it is to this servile work that we 
owe all that is really vital in architecture. The lintel 
and column, the arch, the dome, were not the invention 
of the decorator but of the constructor ; and the work 
of the architect is not to invent decoration but to think 
out construction in its most perfect expression. This 
is a point that is forgotten in much modern architec- 
ture. It is to be regretted that a writer of M. Dimier's 
ability should lend any countenance to such a disastrous 

M. Dimier having treated architecture as merely a 
vehicle for decoration, has little difficulty in showing 
that the less of architecture and the more of decoration 
there is the better. In accordance with this view it 
appears to M. Dimier a simple thing for a painter to 


play the architect ; all he has to do is to make a draw- 
ing of the front and entrust the execution of his design 
to somebody else. Primaticcio is presented as at least 
the equal of Philibert de I'Orme on the latter's own 
ground ; and, in the teeth of the strongest evidence, it 
is stated that De I'Orme's animosity was directed not 
against the Italian adventurer who supplanted him, but 
against the old master- masons of his own country. 
Yet De I'Orme, Bullant, and the elder Du Cerceau 
made a strong point of the service they were rendering 
their country in showing that it was unnecessary to 
import foreign artists for work which could be done 
equally well by Frenchmen ; and the whole weight of 
De rOrme's irritable and amusing outbursts is aimed 
specifically at those 

donneurs de portraits (plans) et faiseurs de desseins, dont la 
plupart n'en s^auroient bien trasser oil decrire aucun, si ce 
n'est par I'ayde et moyen des peintres, qui les s^avent plus 
tost bien farder, laver, ombrager, et colorer, que bien &ire et 
ordonner avecque toutes leures mesures. 

De rOrme's rage against these architectural im- 
postors is so savage that, like Mr. Morgan in Roderick 
Random^ he trips himself up in the very copiousness of 
his own invective. De I'Orme is for ever railing against 
the folly of princes and noblemen who are taken in by 
the specious address and pretty pictures of artists with 
about as much knowledge of architecture as a lawyer's 
clerk. He insists, though his point is sometimes hidden 
by the intricacy of his style, that the essence of archi- 
tecture is sound construction. It is significant of his 

theory that M. Dimier makes no claim on behalf of 



Primaticcio to knowledge of construction ; and it seems 
to us that the whole of his appreciation of Primaticdo's 
position in regard to architecture is vitiated by a theory 
of aesthetics which is equally remote from the teaching 
of philosophy and the facts of history. 

M. Dimier is on safer ground when he discusses 
the influence of the Italian Renaissance on French art, 
and the relations of the master -masons of the older 
school to the architects of the new. M. Palustre 
devoted himself to the uncompromising advocacy of 
the claims of native artists as against the Italians. He 
held that Trinqueau, the Le Bretons, Chambiges, 
Castoret, and the master-masons were not only the 
builders of Fontainebleau, St. Germain, and the other 
buildings on which they were employed, but that they 
were architects with as much title to the name as their 
successors, Bullant, Lescot, and De I'Orme. He made 
a strenuous attempt to reduce the work of Italian artists 
to an inconsiderable quantity, and had little difficulty in 
showing that their share in the achievements of French 
architecture had been much exaggerated. It is, how- 
ever, pretty certain from the building accounts that the 
master-masons received payment only for labour and 
materials supplied, and were, in fact, in the position of 
contractors. This led M. Charvet and others to sup- 
pose that the master- masons were builders only, the 
names of the designers being still to seek, and that the 
accounts are incomplete in this regard. 

M. Dimier says boldly that there were no designers, 
and that, when a building was to be erected, the King 
himself gave his orders, and the master-mason had to 


carry them out as well as he could. For instance, at 
Fontainebleau the works were to be executed for the 
King ^^ aussi qu'il a devise et donne a entendre a son 
valet de chambre ordinaire" Florimond de Champe- 
verne. De Champeverne acted as intermediary between 
the King and his builders, and controlled the business 
arrangements ; but no such person as the modern 
architect as yet existed. In the famous "Devis de 
1528," or specification of works for Fontainebleau, no 
reference is made to any drawings at all ; and it seems 
probable that Francis I. was his own architect, at any 
rate in the earlier part of his reign. Du Cerceau says 
he was so well versed in building that **on ne peult 
presque dire qu'autre que lui en fust I'architecte." 
The first architect actually appointed at Fontainebleau 
was Serlio, who received this somewhat barren honour 
in 1 541. Gilles le Breton, Pierre Girard, or Castoret, 
Trinqueau even, are reduced to the ranks ; and as to 
Pierre Chambiges, on whose brilliant personality M. 
Palustre was eloquent, M. Dimier says that he was just 
a workman and no more.^ 

On the whole, the balance of evidence lies with M. 
Dimier ; yet his account does not exactly square with 
the facts. Chambiges, for instance, was neither architect 
nor workman, but an official contractor. That plans 
of a rough description were made is practically certain.* 

^ Laborde, i. 217 rr seq^ gives the ipecification (devit) for the new hunting lodge of 
La Muette, and the contract for the maaonry, in accordance with this *' devii, et 
ainty que le dimonttre le portrait," made with Pierre Chambiges, 22nd March 1541. 
Chambiges is described as ** Maistre des oeuvres de majonnerie de la ville de Paris,'* 
whereas in the final certificate of January 1548 De I'Orme is described as **architecte 
du Roi." 

^ The ** portrait " referred to in the contract for La Muette is a case in point. 
See note 1. 


The masons, no doubt, carried their trade in their 
head, and depended less than a modern builder on 
working drawings ; but they could not have set out 
Fontainebleau, still less an elaborate building such 
as Chambord, without a plan of some sort to work 
to.^ These rough plans they probably supplied them- 
selves as part of their contract. By way of supplement- 
ing this, it appears to have been the practice to obtain 
elaborately finished pictures of the proposed building 
from painters about the court. It was the incom- 
petence of the latter, together with the constant 
blunders made by the master-masons in setting out 
their work, that excited the wrath of Philibert de 
rOrme. He, in fact, finally did away with the older 
method of building ; for the happy-go-lucky practice 
of the master-mason he substituted the modern system 
of working to scale drawings. Such drawings were 
prepared for the builder's use by men who made it 
their business to design buildings but took no part 
in the operations themselves. Modern French archi- 
tecture dates from BuUant and De TOrme ; and there 
is a wide gulf fixed between them and the master- 

The change has often been deplored. It has been 
urged that it was the beginning of a divorce between 
building and architecture that has been fatal to both ; 
and there is a great deal of truth in the complaint. 
Yet such a change was inevitable. Architecture cannot 
be separated from the general progress of civilisation ; 

^ In regard to Chambord, II Boccador received payment for a wooden model in 
1 53 1 {Comptes, ii. 204, D^penses Secretes du Fran9oii i^). It does not appear 
whether this model was made before or after execution, probably the latter. 


and it was impossible to force upon one stage of 
civilisation habits of life and conditions of thought 
which belong to another. The master-mason was not 
qualified to maintain his place among the sharper wits 
of the Renaissance, and so he had to fall back into the 
position of the executant of the designs of men of 
wider tr^ning. Moreover, the change made by such 
men as De I'Orme was something more than the nice 
manipulation of the orders. For the first time French 
architects learnt to study the finest models. Baron de 
Geymiiller has pointed out that Bullant and De TOrme 
were the first to study their art in Rome instead of 
in Milan ; and in Rome De I'Orme, at any rate, came 
under the influence of Bramante's later manner, M^th 
the result, in France, of what De Geymiiller calls the 
style of Henry II., as opposed to that of Francis I. 

But the real service that these men rendered to 
French architecture was in regard to plan and con- 
struction. De rOrme thoroughly knew his business, 
and was a man of much ingenuity, with something of 
that faculty for engineering which the best French 
architects seem always to have possessed. Whether he 
improved the craft of masonry so much as he intended 
is open to doubt ; but it is certain that he greatly 
contributed to the practical science of construction. 
Jean Bullant, again, was an artist of exceptional power 
and originality. There is a very modern feeling, in 
the best sense, in his classical compositions, such as his 
frontispiece at Ecouen or the chatelet at Chantilly. 
Whether one likes the designs or not, there is here no 
blundering, no hesitation. Bullant had his craft at his 


fingers' ends. Of Pierre Lescot it is not easy to speak. 
His reputation practically rests on the fragment of the 
Louvre completed from his designs ; and, as he never 
seems to have undertaken any work except in conjunc- 
tion with Jean Goujon or Germain Pilon, his reputa- 
tion rather merges in the fame of those brilliant and 
consummate artists. 

What BuUant and De TOrme did for architecture, 
these men did for sculpture. That sculpture of a high 
degree of excellence existed both before and during 
their time is proved by the work of such men as Michel 
Colombe, the Justes of Tours (Florentines, by the way), 
Pierre Bontemps, and Paul Ponce, and in a less degree 
by the number of names of French " Imagers " working 
side by side with the Italians to be found in the Comptes 
des BdHments. But in the work of Goujon, and in his 
younger colleague, Germain Pilon, we come upon a 
fresh and quite original strain, a perfection of technique 
and grace of fancy which belong to no one century but 
exist for all time. 

The work of Jean Goujon is very well illustrated 
in Mr. Lister's attractive book ; the photc^ravures, 
indeed, are admirable. Mr. Lister is in sympathy 
with his subject and his period ; and, though it is 
somewhat irrelevant, we welcome the very interesting 
portrait of Diane de Poitiers, from Lord Spencer's 
collection, as a valuable piece of historical evidence. 
Miss Sichel^ has drawn a clever portrait of this great 

^ In Miss Sichel'i Catharine de Medidif pp. 48-49, there it a reproduction of 
Clouet't portrait of Diane de Poitiers. At first sight there seems to be a consider- 
able difFerence between this and the Spencer portrait. But a careful comparison 
of the two convinces me that they may both be true from different points of view. 


lady, representing her as a person of plain countenance 
with a head for affairs and a " talent for education " ; 
in fact, an earlier Madame de Maintenon, always except- 
ing the immense respectability of the latter. M. 
Lemonnier,^ a less enthusiastic critic, writes of her : 
" elle etait intelligente, elle a ecrit, elle a aime les arts, 
mais elle etait, sous son aimable apparence, seche, dure, 
a vide." That Diane de Poitiers possessed excellent 
good sense is extremely probable ; but excellent good 
sense does not fascinate the world for a generation, and 
we have the key to the mystery in this delightful 
picture. This, on the face of it, is the true Diana, of 
perennial youth and beauty, the Diana of splendid 
vitality who hunted in the woods and bathed in icy 
water. Mr. Lister puts it, 

she had recaptured in her own person the joy of the early 
world, and that was her real religion. From a moral point of 
view we would not willingly hold her brief; but as an apostle 
of nature, of sunlight, of the open air, no word of approbation 
is too high for her. 

In his eighth chapter Mr. Lister gives the discovery 
made by Signor Tommaso Sandonini in regard to 
Goujon's death. That there never was any foundation 
for the legend of his death in the massacre of St. 
Bartholomew has been known to competent French 
writers since, at any rate, i860, when Adolphe Bcrty 
published his suggestive little essay on Goujon. The 
sculptor's name disappears from the Louvre accounts 

The planes and facial angles tre the same, the diflference is only in the accessories 
and in the opposite temperaments of Clouet and the painter of the Spencer portrait. 
^ Histmre de Franct^ ed. Lavisse, vol. v. p. 2oi. 


after September 1562,^ and the question was, What 
became of him after that date ? Signor Sandonini, in 
searching among the registers of the suits instituted by 
the Inquisition at Modena, found one of the year 1568, 
in which the name of Jean Goujon occurs three times, 
as companion of a certain Laurent Penis, then on trial 
before the Inquisition. On comparison of the three 
references, it seems practically certain that Goujon died 
between 1564 and 1568 at Bologna. The evidence 
proves that he was living at Bologna in 1563 ; and the 
probability is that Goujon, in alarm at the growing 
danger incurred by those of his religion (a namesake 
of his was hanged for heresy in 1562, at Troyes), 
retired to Bologna, possibly with Primaticcio, as M. 
Sandonini suggested. It is known that Primaticcio 
visited Bologna towards the end of 1562. The dis- 
covery was of great value in regard to later work 
attributed to Goujon, and incidentally it gave a glimpse 
of the lurid background of romance and tragedy that 
lay behind the work of this great artist, driven, in the 
fulness of his power and renown, so seek an obscure 
refuge in Italy. So far nothing further has been dis- 
covered as to the latter years of Goujon's life. I 
suggest, however, the following observation as some 
clue to their employment. On the outside of the south 
wall of S. Euphemia at Verona there is a large mural 
monument about i6'x 8' to Count Marco de Veritate, 
1566. The pose of the central figure of a man bend- 
ing over a tablet, the cherubs with reversed torches, 
the general relief and details bear an extraordinary 

^ Cemput des BAtimentSy vol. ii. p. 63. 


resemblance to Goujon's method, and I suggest on 
internal evidence only that this may have been a work 
of his exile. 

M. Sandonini's discovery was made so long ago as 
1884, and his account of it was published in full by 
M. de Montaiglon in a study on Jean Goujon in 
the Gazette des Beaux- Arts for January 1885. No 
reference is made to the article by M. de Montaiglon 
in Mr. Lister's book ; and it is significant of the back- 
ward state of architectural study in this country that 
facts which have been familiar to French students for 
the last eighteen years should be welcomed in England 
as a new discovery. Nor is this the only instance of 
inadvertence, to use no stronger word, in Mr. Lister's 
book. The writer of the introduction says "it is 
difficult to account for the neglect of Jean Goujon and 
his time on the part of critics and lovers of French art." 
But French writers have not neglected him. Mr. 
Lister appears to have overlooked M. Pottier's VOEuvre 
de Goujofiy with engravings by Reveil, published so long 
ago as 1844 and republished in 1868. He says 
nothing of M. Berty's study, and does not seem to 
have familiarised himself with the constant references 
to this artist in the works of modern French writers. 
The fact is that, with the exception of the valuable 
discovery by M. Sandonini, and the conclusions that 
foUow from it, nearly all the facts ascertainable about 
the life of Jean Goujon had long been familiar to 
French students ; and what has yet to be done will 
probably have to come from the comparison and 
critical appreciation of his works. The bas-reliefs of 


Anet, which are represented as being described in Mr* 
Lister's book for the first time, were fully given by 
Reveil. Nor again can one accept " a sort of invalid 
Don Quixote " as a felicitous summary of the person 
and character of Henry 11. That king, whatever his 
faults, was a man of great personal strength and deter- 
mined courage ; and a lifelong devotion to a lady not 
his wife is hardly what one looks for in Don Quixote, 
Besides, there is always the figure on the tomb at St, 
Denis to correct such fantastic impressions. 

Mr. Lister's monograph has no index, and suflFers 
from a want of documentation. The appendices con- 
taining extracts from J. A. du Cerceau, Goujon's notes 
to Martin's Vitruvius^ Lenoir's report on Anet, and 
a note on Lord Spencer's portrdt of Diane de Poitiers, 
are useful contributions ; but, with these exceptions, no 
references are made to authorities by chapter and verse. 
Moreover, there are some inaccuracies which require 
revision. On p. lo Mr. Lister says: "After com- 
pleting the tomb of the Cardinals d'Amboise, Jean 
Goujon seems to have left Rouen for Paris." In point 
of fact all that Goujon did was to make the figure of 
the younger George d'Amboise, which was destroyed 
ten years later. Nor, again, can one accept Mr. Lister's 
account of the gates of St. Maclou. The tradition 
assigning these doors to Goujon has always been 
doubtful. The doors were begun in the reign of 
Francis I., but were not finished at the time of the 
death of Henry 11. Now Goujon left Rouen in 
1 54 1, and the evidence of the carving itself goes to 
show that, if Goujon took any part in the work, his 

By Pierre Bontemps. 


share was infinitesimal. The strap-work, " mysterious 
sphinxes, winged chimseras, and fantastic masks," which 
appeal so strongly to Mr. Lister, are widely remote 
from the manner of Jean Goujon, one of the purest 
of architectural sculptors since the days of Pheidias. 
They are later in date than 1541, and a little suggest 
the work of Pierre Bontemps on the urn of Francis I. 
at St. Denis. M. Palustre and M. de Montaiglon, 
both extremely competent critics in this matter, came 
to the conclusion that the only part of the work that 
could be assigned to Goujon are the three figures in 
low relief on the opposite side of the door to that 
illustrated by Mr. Lister.^ 

Mr. lister (p. 14) says that, ** about the year 1540, 
Montmorenci confided to Jean Bullant the building of 
a new castle " (at Ecouen), and draws an engaging 
picture of a group of well-known artists at work on 
this great palace, including Bullant, Goujon, the 
Limousins, Bernard de Palissy, and Jean Cousin. The 
facts are otherwise. The work at Ecouen is of two 
dates, and its peculiarity is that the newer classic has 
been unceremoniously clapped on to an older French 
Renaissance building. The earlier work was probably 
built about 1532-42 by a certain mason named Charles 
Baillard or Billard, also mentioned in connection with 
Fontainebleau and St. Germain ; whereas the later 
work, the three-storey loggia on the terrace front, the 
great Corinthian frontispiece and the facade facing it 
inside the court, the gateway to the park, and some 

' Palustre, La Retiaisianet en Franct, ii. 264; H. de Montaiglon, Gazette des 
BeoMX'Arttf November 1884, Janaary 1885. 


other details, were added by Bullant about 1550. Jean 
Goujon's work here is well authenticated, but the 
windows, now at Chantilly, were not by Jean Cousin ; ^ 
the grisailles were probably by Jean le Pot of Beauv^s, 
and the chapel windows by Nicholas, his brother, who 
made the magnificent windows in the choir of St. 
Acceul at Ecouen. The tile-paving in the chapel and 
Salle des Fetes is dated Rouen, 1542, and was probably 
by a Rouen potter, Alabaquesne. In any case it was 
not made by Bernard Palissy, since it is known that the 
Constable had never heard of Palissy before the taking 
of Saintes in 1548. 

These slips, however, are of no great importance. 
It is in his critical estimate of Jean Goujon that Mr. 
Lister seems to me entirely wrong. He holds that 
Goujon's special claim to the gratitude and admiration 
of artists rests on his pronounced leaning towards 
pictorial treatment and effect, and on his having 
thereby rescued French art from the hateful grasp of 
architecture and restored it to the control of the 
painter ; in other words, that, in the absence of any 
competent painter, Goujon, a sculptor, restored French 
art by the suppression of architecture. We have here 
a theory of the arts that only a Lessing could dis- 
entangle. Repeating M. Dimier, Mr. Lister says 
that *^ nothing is more fatal to art than an archi- 
tectural hegemony," and he has the temerity to add 
that, "in the artistic hierarchy the painter should 

^ From an entry I have come across in the Comptes^ ■540-i 550 — " a Jean Cousin, 
imager, a raison de 14 liv. par mois " — it appears that Cousin was then at work at 
Fontainebleau as a minor artist. The regular pay of the Italians there vras 20 L a 


dominate, the architect should merely carry out his 

Mr, Lister is here repeating, almost verbatim, M. 
Dimier's favourite thesis, which has been dealt with 
above. He annexes for the honour of Goujon a theory 
which M. Dimier seems to have invented expressly for 
the glorification of Primaticcio ; but it is necessary to 
show how utterly wide of the mark his theory becomes 
when applied to the particular case of Jean Goujon. If 
there ever was a sculptor who had the architectural 
sense in its highest development, and who completely 
subordinated his sculpture to the necessary restraints of 
architecture, that man was Jean Goujon. Not even 
the Greeks excel him in this. Mr. Lister himself 
remarks : " There is something eminently Greek . . - 
in the perfect adaptation of the figures to the spaces they 
were to occupy, to the structional lines (sic) which they 
were destined to adorn." Now what does this mean 
except that Goujon was, in the strictest and fullest 
sense of the words, an architectural sculptor. 

The most remarkable point in Goujon*s genius is 
the completeness with which he turned his back on the 
elaborate pictorial sculpture which characterised the early 
French Renaissance, and which was itself the legacy of 
late Gothic art. The transition from the series of 
Gothic picture sculptures which surround the choir 
of Amiens to the high relief Renaissance carving on 
the south door of Beauvais is very slight, and, except 
for the refinement of low relief, there is no great pro- 
gress from this to the bas-reliefs on the plinth of the 
tomb of Louis XII. made by Antonio Juste. For any 


help they give to the general effect these crowds of 
little figures in action might almost as well be replaced 
by a vermiculated surface ; but Goujon changed all 
this. To a mind of his intellectual distinction there 
must have been something intolerably wearisome in 
this multiplication of pictorial detail. He possessed 
those priceless qualities in a sculptor, the sense of 
scale and the sense of surface, the power of conceiv- 
ing of his work in relation to its surroundings, and 
in relation to the whole. It is by means of these 
qualities that he revolutionised French sculpture and 
gave it the fine architectural quality that it has main- 
tained to this day. There was no conflict in his 
mind between architecture and sculpture. The reform 
that he was making in his own art, Bullant and De 
rOrme were making in theirs. All three men reached 
beyond the horizon of the ingenious ornamentalist ; 
they were at length penetrating within the veil of that 
mystery of Italian art of which their predecessors had 
merely touched the fringe. The weight of Goujon's 
genius told at once. Within ten years of the date of 
the minute pictorial reliefs on the tomb of Francis I. at 
St. Denis, Fremyn Roussel was carving the beautifid 
panel of Charity on the tomb of Henry II., with a 
style and largeness of manner not unworthy of Goujon 
himself, and with so modern a feeling that it might 
almost be the work of a living French sculptor. 

It is perhaps a mistake to attempt to trace too 
closely the genesis of genius. The very essence of 
genius is that it takes a line of its own, selecting and 
assimilating to itself all that is best in the past ; and of 

By Jean Goujon. 

By Jean Goujon. 


Goujon most of all this is true. Mr. Lister, perhaps 
unconsciously clinging to his painter theory of art, lays 
no stress on the fact that Goujon is first heard of at 
Rouen as " Maistre Jehan Goujon, masson," and again 
as " tailleur de pierres et masson " ; and that in 1 547 
Jean Martin, in the dedication of his Vitruvius to 
Henry IL, describes Goujon as "naguere I'architecte 
de Monseigneur le Connetable et maintenant Tun 
des votres." That, in fact, Goujon was well versed 
in classical architecture is shown by his note to his 
readers in Martin's Vitruvius. Indeed there is 
some reason to think that Goujon was the " ghost " 
who designed the work for which the Sieur de Claghy 
(Pierre Lescot), gentleman and councillor of Parlia- 
ment, got the credit. It is a remarkable fact that 
Lescot associated Goujon with him in all his works ; 
that Goujon was trained both practically and theoreti- 
cally in architecture ; and that Lescot is not known to 
have received any training at all. M. de Montaiglon 
admits " il n'y a guere d'exemple d'une collaboration et 
d'lm travail en commune aussi homogenes." With 
such a man as Goujon behind him and the very able 
masons at his command, Lescot's work may have con- 
sisted chiefly of the management of the Court. 

In any case the evidence shows that Goujon began 
his training in the builder's yard, and to this he partly 
owes the architectural quality of his work. That he 
was also much influenced by the designs of that 
cleverest of artists Primaticcio, and by Parmigiano 
in Italy, there can be no doubt. The figure of 
St. Luke in the bas-reliefs from the screen of St. 


Germain TAuxerrois reproduces the pose of the legs, 
even to the length and roundness of limb, of Parmi- 
giano's Moses in S. Maria della Steccata at Parma. 
Parmigiano's work was begun after 1531 and left un- 
finished at his death in 1 540. Goujon may have seen 
drawings of it, but it seems at least probable that he 
saw this work in Italy between 1535 and 1540. It is 
hardly possible that Goujon could have executed these 
bas-reliefs unless he had seen in Italy the works of 
Michael Angelo and the antiques of Rome. Another 
source from which he certainly learnt is not mentioned 
by Mr. Lister. By 1540 Primaticcio, as agent for 
Francis I., had collected one hundred and twenty-five 
statues, busts, and torsos, together with moulds for 
casting some of the most celebrated antiques, such as 
the Laocoon and others. In the same year he brought 
these to Paris, and castings were begun in 1540-41, 
under the superintendence of Vignola.^ 

There can be little doubt that Goujon availed him- 
self of these resources ; but what he gave of his own 
outweighed all that he learnt from others. Mr. 
Lister sums this up as " taste." Taste, in the sense of 
fine selection and of an intellectual distinction that 
habitually shrank from vulgarity and the banalities of 
commonplace art, Goujon possessed in the highest 
degree. His was essentially an " esprit d'elite." But 
taste is not genius, and Mr. Lister's view leaves out of 
account the fire and vitality of his art, chastened as it 
was by a most gracefid fancy. The instinct of the 

^ Laborde, Comptet, i. 193 : entry of payment of 20.12.6 to Jean le Febvre, 
chartier, for transport of these in 135 cases to Fontainebleaa. 


thirteenth- century Frenchman for pure form awoke 
again in Goujon to express itself in the more gracious 
imagery of the Renaissance ; and it is this which gives 
Goujon's work its strange individuality. Mr. Lister, 
in an eloquent passage, compares him to Leonardo. 
In the work of both he finds 

the same haunting and elusive mystery . . . some wild im- 
mortal fascination which, while mocking ^he desire of the 
mortal, might lure him to his destruction. 

The smile of La Gioconda is not more subtle and 
disquieting than those divinely beautiful nymphs on 
the Fontaine des Innocents. In both there seems 
some strange enchantment not found in the work of 
other men, some quality that makes peculiar appeal 
to sensitive natures. Nothing could better attest the 
completeness of the French Renaissance than the fact 
that Goujon's genius was recognised at once. The 
permanence of his influence on French art is the 
most enduring tribute to his fame, for, indeed, " Jean 
Goujon, masson et tailleur des pierres," is one of the 

Goujon died before 1568, and his brilliant contem- 
poraries did not long outlive him. De TOrme died in 
1570, Bullant and Lescot in 1578, and Jacques 
Androuet du Cerceau, the old engraver, scarcely less 
famous than the architects whose works he illustrated, 
soon after 1 5 84. Indeed it seems probable that the elder 
Du Cerceau should be included among the great archi- 
tects of the French Renaissance. In 1569 he is called 
by a contemporary, " architecte du Roy, et Madame la 


Duchesse de Ferrara " ; and shortly after his death he 
was described as ^^ Tun des plus ingenieux et excellens 
architectes de son temps/* De GeymiiUer, in his 
learned but somewhat unreadable account of the Du 
Cerceau family, gives good reasons for attributing 
to the elder Du Cerceau not only certain work in the 
church and chateau of Montargis, but also the designs 
of the houses and grounds of Verneuil and Charleval, 
both of which are illustrated with unusual completeness 
in Les plus excellens BasHmens. These buildings 
have utterly disappeared. The designs, as shown by 
Du Cerceau, display an ability much in advance of 
contemporary work, and justify M. Palustre's opinion 
that these buildings, had they been completed, would 
probably have been the finest palaces built in France in 
the sixteenth century. Du Cerceau's capacity as an 
architect we have to take more or less on faith, and his 
reputation will probably always rest on his engraved 
work. His engravings probably did more to spread 
the general knowledge of Neo-classic architecture in 
France than the work of any contemporary architect ; 
and at the end of his long life he might have felt that 
his work was not in vain. 

The hundred years that terminated with Du 
Cerceau*s death had indeed been memorable. They 
had witnessed the enfranchisement of French art 
from the fetters of late mediaevalism, and when Du 
Cerceau died French artists were fairly started in 
the path along which they have steadily travelled ever 
since. In sculpture the genius of Jean Goujon and 
of Germain Pilon set a standard to which, perhaps, 


succeeding generations have hardly attained ; yet 
modern French sculpture needs no apology, and since 
the days of Goujon it has again and again produced 
the most admirable masterpieces. The development 
of French architecture has been in some ways steadier 
and in some ways more erratic than that of the 
sister art. France, the land pre-eminently of classical 
tradition, was quite as badly bitten by the Romantic 
movement as any other country in Europe, and the 
results, while curiously successful in painting, were 
somewhat disastrous in architecture, for amongst them 
has to be reckoned the unhappy episode of the Gothic 
revival, which itself has sunk to the lower level of 
**rart nouveau," perhaps the most morbid phase of 
artistic effort that the world has ever witnessed. Yet, 
on the whole, French architecture has adhered to the 
classical tradition. The lines laid down by Bullant 
and Dc TOrme were followed by the sons of old Du 
Cerceau — Baptiste, who succeeded Lescot at the Louvre 
and Bullant at the Chapel of the Valois, and Jacques, 
who was employed in the Tuileries. Meanwhile, 
Solomon de Brosse, nephew of the engraver, had built 
the Luxembourg; and by 1645 J^^^ Androuet du 
Cerceau, in the third generation, had completed the 
fine Hotel de Boulainvilliers that once stood at the 
southern end of the lie St. Louis. The transition 
from such buildings as these to the architecture of 
Louis XIV. is slight, but we note an ever-increasing 
tendency to gigantic scale — a tendency which is 
doomed to defeat itself, yet which proceeds from one 
of the greatest qualities of architecture, the desire to 


make the appeal to the imagination by boldness of idea 
and simplidty of form rather than by the incessant multi- 
plication of detail. Versailles led on to the colossal 
stables of ChantiUy, and no architect could have 
devised the scale of the new Garc d*Orleans who had 
not, to some extent, inherited the instincts of the 
author of that stupendous composition. 

The writer of the preface to Mr. Lister*s book says 
that the French gift to the art of the world is taste. 
This is a somewhat dangerous statement and suggests 
the virtuoso, the habit of mind that can find good 
work only in certain specified forms, to the elimination 
of everything else. The result is a preciosity more 
injurious to art than complete indifference. The sort 
of taste that prevailed in the days of the First Consul 
shows that France has not entirely escaped that vice. 
In another sense, that of fastidious selection and a 
persistent instinct for beauty, taste is, of course, one of 
the first elements of art, as in Greek architecture or, 
on another plane, in Japanese art. But in this sense 
French taste is by no means impeccable. That very 
quality which, to M. Dimier, seems so admirable, 
the painter -like quality of some of her sculpture 
and architecture, may seem to others to be precisely 
the point in which French taste is most at fault. 
The exuberant outline of the Palais d'Industrie, the 
rather vulgar realism of the monument to Guy de 
Maupassant in the Pare Monceaux, the hideousness 
of " La Haulmiere " by Rodin in the Luxembourg, 
are a few modern instances which hardly testify to an 
unerring taste and a complete appreciation of beauty. 


Possibly M. Dimier may find the aesthetic anarchy 
which his soul desires in the confections of wood and 
ivory, bronze and precious stones, which yearly adorn 
the Salons. We should prefer to look elsewhere for 
the lesson of modern French art ; and it is safer to 
find it in its distinction, its technical accomplishment, 
its unfailing instinct for scale, and, not least of all, in 
its power of combining and co-ordinating all the arts, 
painting, sculpture, and architecture, so that they co- 
operate successfully without loss of balance, without 
ignoring and stultifying each other *s labours. It is 
in this architectonic treatment of the arts that the 
French conspicuously excel ; and, in spite of M. Dimier, 
we maintain that, as compared with other nations, the 
art in which France has always rendered her most 
brilliant service to the world is the art of architecture. 


1. (Euvres de Fhilibert de POrme, Paris: Regnauld Chaudi^re, 


2. Instruction de Monsieur ^Tvry^ diet De POrme, First printed by 

Berty, i860. 

3. Les plus excelkns Bastimens de France, J. A. du Cerceau. Vol. 

i., 1576; vol. ii., 1579. 

4. Les Grands Architectes Fran^ais de la Renaissance, Adolphe 

Berty, i860. 

5. Les Comptes des Bhtiments du Roi^ 1 528-1 571. L^on de Laborde, 


6. Fhilibert de POrme. Marius Vachon, 1887. 

7. Le Frimatice. L. Dimier, 1900. 

8. V Architecture Franfaise, Jacques Fran9ois Blondel. Vol. iv. 


Philibert de l'Orme is a notable figure in the history 
of French architecture, and yet to the majority of 
educated people he is little more than a name — a name 
that inspires some vague interest possibly through con- 
fused associations with the romance of his namesake. 
Yet De TOrme deserves his niche in history, not merely 
because he was an able architect — ^Jean Bullant and two 
of the Du Cerceau were as good or better — but 
because he was a man of strong personality, who, living 
at a time which marks the turning-point in modern 
art, definitely and consciously broke with the tradition 




of mediaevalism, and so impressed his doctrines on his 
contemporaries that they remain to this day a not in- 

From (Euvres de Philihert de tOrme. Chaudi^, 1626. 

adequate expression ot the ideals of latter-day archi- 
tecture. De rOrme was the first and most complete 
realisation of the modern architect in France, as 


distinguished from the master-mason of the Middle 

Philibert de I'Orme was born at Lyons about 151 5, 
the exact date is not known. De TOrme, writing in 
1567/ refers to the observations he had made on build- 
ings for thirty-five years or more, and elsewhere* he 
states that at the age of fifteen he was in charge of 
three hundred men. His father was a ** maitre d'oeuvre " 
of Lyons — by which I understand a builder, or working 
contractor — and his grandfather was a weaver, by no 
means " the noble parents " that have been assigned to 
him, but probably substantial tradesmen. The trades- 
men of Lyons, however, were a class by themselves, for 
Lyons was the half-way house between Italy and the 
culture of the North, the refuge of Bonaventure des 
Perriers, of Etienne Dolet, and of Rabelais ; ^ and 
there was the less need to claim a noble origin for De 
rOrme in that the tradesmen of Lyons formed their 
own aristocracy, an aristocracy not of birth, but of 
brains. Louise de Labe, the most famous member of 
the " Societe Angelique," was the daughter of a rope- 
maker, and the wife of one.* The intellectual life of 
Lyons in the early part of the sixteenth century was 
perhaps at a higher level than that of any other city in 
France ; and young De TOrme had a better chance of 
meeting the Humanists in the parlours of Lyons than 
he would ever have had in the halls of some noble 

^ Preface to Premier Tome de t Architecture, 
' Nuttvellei Itrvtntionu 

^ It was in 1534, when De TOrme was in Rome, that Rabelais edited the Lyons 
edition of Marliani, Urbit Rc^mae Topographia. 

* See fFomen and Men of the French Renaissance (Sichel), chap. xiv. 


barbarian of the provinces. The enthusiasm for scholar- 
ship that possessed the place determined the bent of his 
life. When De TOrme began his studies in architec- 
ture, he approached the art not from the point of view 
of the building apprentice, but from that of the student 
of the antique. 

Nothing is known of De I'Orme's early training. 
He first reveals himself to us at work in Rome, at an 
age which he describes as " ma tres grande jeunesse." ^ 
According to his own account he was in the habit of 
drawing and measuring the antiquities of Rome, 
attended by a following of workmen who excavated 
ruins and set up his ladders, and by others who wished 
to share in his discoveries. He was noticed one day 
by Marcellus Cervinus, Cardinal de Sainte-Croix, then 
a bishop, and certain other gentlemen of Rome.* 
Cervinus invited him to his house, where the young 
architect made such an impression that Cervinus gave 
him an introduction to the Pope, with the result that 
De rOrme obt^ned " une belle charge a S. Martin 
della Bosco, a la Callabre." M. Berty' points out 
that Cervinus was not made a bishop till 1534, and De 
rOrme refers to a " Trompe *' that he built at Lyons 
in 1536, "a mon retour de Rome et voyage d'ltalie 

^ Le Premier Tome de P jirehheeture^ livre v. chap. i. p. 131. 

' De rOrme detcribea the episode as a mere chance incident ; as a &ct, Marcellus 
Cervinus was one of the most eminent virtuosi of his time. Vasari, in his account 
of Vignola, describes the society of nobles and gentlemen in Rome, who met for the 
purpose of reading Vitnivius. This society employed Vignola to measure the anti- 
quities of Rome, and it is nearly certain that thb was the society which interested 
itself in the labours of De I'Orme. At the time of which he writes probably every 
monument in Rome was being drawn and measured by one or another enthusiastic 
young architect. Cervinus succeeded Pope Julius III. in 1555, but died within 
twenty-two days of his election. 

* Les Grands ArcMitectety p. 5. 


lequel j'avais entrepris pour la poursuite de mes etudes 
et inventions pour rarchitecture." It is evident, there- 
fore, that De TOrme only held this appointment for a 
very short time. What it was is unknown, but De 
rOrme implies that it was profitable, and that he was 
only induced to throw it up by Guillaume du Bellay 
and his brother Jean, the Cardinal. He uses the strong 
expression of the Du Bellays, " me debauchairent du 
service du Pape Paulle," ^ but De FOrme wrote in the 
bitterness of his old age, and described the incidents of 
his youth with a somewhat liberal imagination. 

On his return from Italy, 1535-36, De I'Orme 
settled for a time at Lyons. Here his connections 
brought him work at once. In 1536 he added two 
"trompes" or engaged turrets to the hotel of M. 
Billau, Governor of Brittany, in the rue de la Juifrie at 
Lyons. His name occurs in the registry of taxes at 
Lyons in 1538, but for the next few years he was 
engaged on work which had little relation to architec- 
ture. Probably through the influence of M. Billau he 
was appointed in 1545 "maistre architecte et con- 
ducteur general de nos bastiments et edifices ouvrages 
et fortifications" of the duchy of Brittany, with an 
annual salary of 500 "livres tournois." His duties 
appear to have ranged from those of an inspector- 
general of fortifications to those of a commissariat 
oflicer. Twice a year he made his tour of inspection, 
and at once displayed those qualities of rigorous and 
unyielding severity which ended by making him the 
best-hated man in the Court of France. He found 

^ Instruction de Monsieur d'7'vry^ diet De VOrme. Ed. Bcrty, p. 58. 


that the civil and military officers were robbing the 
King right and left, and that they had denuded the 
fortress of Brest of munitions of war to such an extent 
that, according to his own account, Brest must have 
been taken except for his presence of mind. The 
English attacked in sixty ships, but De I'Orme (antici- 
pating the memorable exploit of the Three Musqueteers) 
used great diligence in mounting false cannon and 
placing his handful of men about on the ramparts, and, 
in short, " fict si bonne mine que I'enemy ne nous 
assaillist poinct." This was in 1546, and De TOrme 
considered that he had saved Brest and Nantes. In 
Normandy he victualled the galleons which sailed from 
Havre to Boulogne, spending eight hundred crowns of 
his own money, for which he never received a farthing. 
Further, he reduced the price of masonry in the royal 
buildings from sixty livres the toyse (6 feet) to ten. 
At St. Malo, Concarneau, and Nantes he made the local 
treasurers refund 36,000 livres to the treasury. In 
Picardy he detected overcharges in measurements to 
the amount of 18,000 livres, and altogether he made 
himself a perfect terror on the north-west of France, 
very much, he says, to his own disadvantage and per- 
sonal loss. 

The episode is characteristic of the absence of 
specialisation in the sixteenth century. The profes- 
sions had not yet split up and crystallised, and it is 
evident, from the royal accounts, that much confusion 
was the result Here was De TOrme, whose sole train- 
ing had been in architecture and archaeology, set to do 
the work of a Treasury official, and he gained his intro- 


duction to the French Court not through his architec- 
tural capacity, but through his zeal as a civil servant. 
On the other hand, Pierre Lescot, whose business in 
life was to be a counsellor of the Parliament of Paris, 
leaps into the practice of architecture in middle age 
without previous training. The conception of an archi- 
tect as a man who devoted his life to the design and 
construction of buildings, and who was only qualified 
to do so after serious and prolonged training, hardly 
existed before the middle of the sixteenth century. 
The aristocracy, not only of rank but of learning, 
did not differentiate between the architect and the 
builder. In Robert Etienne*s Latin-French Dictionary, 
1544, " architectus " is translated "maistre magon ou 
charpentier," and M. Palustre says that the word 
" architecte " is first used in Martin's translation of the 
first book of Serlio, 1545.^ Bude, whom De TOrme 
described as "notre docte et incomparable Bude," 
ungratefully reckoned all artists among the "foeces 
urbium,"^ probably knowing nothing whatever about 
them except that they were considered fidvavaoi by the 
Greeks. It was only by slow degrees that the concep- 
tion of an architect as an artist of exceptional know- 
ledge and capacity established itself, and De TOrme, in 
insisting again and again on the necessity of thorough 

* Thii, however, it not correct, at in the dmptes aes BAtimtnts^ vol. i. p. 39, 
under date 1534, I find the significant words "per certification de Pierre 
Panle, dit Tltalien, architecteur^ varlet de chambre ordinaire de Madame, et con- 
cierge du chateau de Monsieur." This Pierre Paule died before 1537, but I can find 
out nothing further about him. His certificate was for some of Le Breton's work 
at Fontainebleau. The term next appears in Serlio's patent of appointment as archi- 
tcct-in-ordinary to Francis I., December 1541. After this date the term appears 

2 DeatUy p. 139. 


training for an architect, had very good reason for 
doing so in the vague opinion and incompetent practice 
of his time. 

His first important architectural work came to him 

through the Du Bellays. The Cardinal, Joachim du 

Bellay, possessed some high ground overlooking the 

Marne at St. Maur-les-Fosses, and, according to M. 

Palustre, he deliberately selected this site for his house 

on account of the view. De TOrme began his building 

in about 1 540, but very soon got into difficulties with 

his footings, as the site was a disused quarry filled up 

with the earth excavated from the foundations of the 

adjoining abbey. To save the Cardinal the expense of 

continuous footings at a great depth, De TOrme sunk 

piers, 4 to 5 ft. square, 12 ft. apart, with arches 

between, and on these he built his walls. The original 

plan consisted of a quadrangle with four pavilions at 

the angles,^ but before the works were completed Du 

Bellay sold the place to Catherine de Medicis, who 

altered the whole design, and insisted on the very ugly 

facade with the immense pediment shown in Du 

Cerceau's engraving. De TOrme found it convenient 

to say that the Queen -mother had shown a pretty 

fancy and admirable judgment in the alterations she 

made, but as a matter of fact she seems to have ruined 

the design. Catherine insisted on his substituting for 

his original scheme a monotonous range of galleries in 

three storeys with the largest pediment of its kind in 

^ See Premier Tome^ p. 17, V^ for plan. The elevation with double pavilions 
and the pediment given by Da Cerceau ihovrs the design as altered for Catherine, 
The detail of the interior of the court with a pedestal course and attic storey shows 
the original design made for Du Bellay. 


France. The building was never finished. The 
creditors of Catherine sold it to Charlotte de la 
Tremouille, through whom it came to the Conde 
family, who destroyed it before the French Revolution. 

The Chateau of St. Maur established De I'Orme's 
reputation, and also brought him into the midst of 
that ferment of intrigue which prevailed at the French 
Court from the reign of Henry II. till the accession of 
Henry of Navarre. Promotion followed quickly. It 
appears that during the reign of Francis I. De I'Orme 
was already " Commissaire depute sur le fait des bati- 
ments" {CompteSy i. i88), but Francis did not, in fact, 
care much about architecture. His interest lay in the 
decorative arts, and it was not till the accession of his 
son, in 1547, that De I'Orme was appointed "archi- 
tecte du Roy " and inspector of all the Royal buildings. 
He now appeared on the scene at Fontainebleau as the 
rival of Primaticcio, and the successor of Serlio, in the 
direction of the Royal tapestry works,^ and during the 
reign of Henry II. De TOrme was all-powerful. He 
was already Privy Councillor and King's Almoner ; he 
was now given the Abbey of St. Barthelemy les Noyon, 
and very soon after the Abbey of Ivry, near Evreux, 
through the influence of Diane de Poitiers. Indeed, it 
is probable that this was his payment for the work at 
Anet, which was begun soon afterwards. 

A new era began with De I'Orme's appointment in 

^ M. Vachon givei the date as 1548. This, however, is wrong. The patent 
of January 1548 refers to**nos lettres de commission et pouvoir du 3i«mo Avril 
dernier pass6." Francis I. died in March 1547, and Henry II. appointed De I'Orme 
in the April following (Camptet^ voL i. pp. 164-168). It is to be noted that the 
arrangement of the accounts and patents in the Comptet as published is not strictly 


1 547. It is a remarkable fact, and one which has not 
been grasped by English writers, that Francis I., with 
all his enthusiasm for the arts, never actually employed 
an architect, with the exception of Serlio, and according 
to both M. Palustre and M. Dimier, Serlio's appoint- 
ment went for nothing. By a patent dated December 
1541,^ "nostre cher et bien aime Bastiannet Serlio, 
peintre et architecteur du pais du BouUogne la Grace," 
was appointed painter and architect-in-ordinary to the 
King at a salary of 400 livres a quarter, and twenty 
sous a day travelling expenses. His name appears in 
connection with unimportant work in the accounts^ 
for 1540-50; and the last entry shows a significant 
drop in his salary from 400 livres a quarter to 400 
livres a year.' Serlio, a foreigner and not a strong 
man, was probably powerless against official intrigue. 
It is clear that Henry II. was altc^ether dissatisfied 
with the management of his father's buildings, and the 

^ Cmpttij vol. i. pp. 172-174. 

* MM. Dimier and Palustre, for once in a way, agree in denying Serlio any share 
in the work at Fontaineblean, M. Dimier in order to exalt Primaticcio, and M. 
Palustre to magnify Le Breton. Yet a great deal of building went on between 1540- 
50. Le Breton received for masonry alone at Fontaineblean, Livres 117,415 iis. 6d., 
and the total expenditure on all works was Livret 525,134 19s., whereas the total 
cost of works done at Fontainebleau during the regime of Philibert de TOrme, 1548- 
57, only amounts to Livret 32,880 19s. 9d., of which only Livres 14,550 were expended 
on masonry. The work known from the Comptei to have been done by Le Breton, 
under the 1 540-50 accounts, consisted of the chapel and the alteration of the Grand 
Etcalier, which would hardly account for the whole of the expenditure. Filibien 
the younger attributed to Serlio the fine design of the ** Aile de la Belle Chemin^e," 
by far the most characteristically Italian design in the whole of Fontainebleau. Now 
Felibien had access to the original accounts, of which the greater part are now lost, 
and speaks with an authority in this regard denied to later writers. There seems no 
reason to doubt his story that Serlio designed this facade, and did in fact take an im- 
portant part in the design of Fontainebleau. The point is further discussed in the 
study on the Italians of Fontainebleau. Charles Perrault says that Serlio made a 
design for the Louvre, which was rejected in favour of the design by Lescot 
(Blondel, vol. iv. p. 5). 

' Ccmptesy vol. i. p. 266. 


terms of De TOrme's patent were stringent. The 
King, wishing to know how his father had been served 
in his buildings at Fontainebleau, St. Germain en Laye, 
Villars-Cotterets, Yerre, and the Bois de Boulogne (the 
Chateau de Madrid), and having entire confidence in 
De rOrme's sense, sufficiency, loyalty, and great experi- 
ence in the art of architecture, prudence, and diligence, 
authorises him to summon experts to inspect and 
examine the above works, and on their report, to 
compel the contracting tradesmen to make good all 
malversations and defects. By the patent of January 
1 548, De rOrme was further empowered to make all 
necessary contracts for work on the above buildings ; 
and all officials were called upon to lend him all possible 
assistance in the discharge of his duties, notwithstanding 
any existing regulations to the contrary. Henry meant 
to make a clean sweep of jobbery and corruption, and 
he could have found no better man for his purpose 
than De TOrme, who seems to have positively enjoyed 
unravelling a swindle and running his men to ground. 
He entered on his duties in a spirit in which zeal for 
righteousness and a regard for his own preferment 
seem to have been pretty equally balanced. The Le 
Bretons were the first to suflTer. De I'Orme made M. 
Jehan le Breton (possibly a mistake for Gilles), mason 
of Fontainebleau, disgorge 18,000 livres over-payment, 
and besides this, says De TOrme, there was more than 
24,000 livres for work which was worth nothing ; and 
both here and elsewhere De I'Orme did not hesitate to 
accuse the tradesmen of theft.^ His work consisted of 

^ Imtructm de M, d^Tnnjy Berty, p. 51. 


riding about the country inspecting the royal buildings. 
AccorcUng to his own account, he always had to keep 
ten or twelve horses in his stables, and open house 
for the various officials and tradesmen who "tous 
mangeoyent a mon logis,a mes propres depens,sans qu'ils 
payassent, ni moings me faire present de la valeur d'une 
seule maille" (halfpenny). It must have been a 
curious entertainment, for De I'Orme was always fight- 
ing the officials, and had a profound contempt for the 
capacities of the building tradesman ; and if he was 
anything like as fierce and intransigent as he makes 
himself out to have been, some of his house parties 
must have broken up a little prematurely. However, 
his position and reputation bore down opposition for 
the time, and his energy speedily brought him more 
profitable work. 

In 1548 Diane de Poitiers entrusted him with the 
design of Anet, and here De I'Orme had a splendid 
opportunity of displaying his skill, unfettered by ex- 
pense, or by any exceptional eccentricity on the part of 
his client, for Henry 11. was far more interested in the 
building of Anet than in his own houses, and the lady 
herself, whatever her faults, was possessed of excellent 
sense. Moreover, she was immensely rich, for in 
addition to the gifts of the King she inherited large 
estates in Normandy from her husband, the Sieur de 
Breze, including the property of Anet. Here on the 
banks of the Dure she built her sumptuous pleasure- 
house. As usual, the new building had to be adapted 
to suit what was left of an older building.^ In Du 

^ Premier Tome, p. 13. 



Cerceau's view this older part can be clearly seen to the 
north-east corner of the quadrangle. It consisted of a 

pavilion in three storeys, with a steep roof and elaborate 
lucarnes and a lofty turret, with some lower buildings 


extending eastwards. De TOrme left this part as it 
was, merely screening it by his new buildings from the 
entrance front. The plan was unusually simple, and 
consisted of a large quadrangle surrounded on three 
sides by two-storey buildings with steep pitched roofs. 
The fourth side, facing the entrance, was kept low, and 
was enclosed with curtain walls brought forward and 
returned from the two wings to form the very curious 
composition of the entrance front. This consisted of 
an archway with an attic storey over the arch, and 
lodges on either side of the entrance. To the right 
and left of the entrance block were two small gardens, 
leading to raised terraces which communicated with 
pavilions at the end of the facade. The whole of the 
space under these terraces, and abutting on the moat, is 
occupied by extensive vaults. To the left (i.e. east 
side) of the house was the base-court with a fountain in 
the centre ; the chapel projected into this court from 
the left wing of the house. To the right of the build- 
ing was the court of the fountsdn of Diana, and beyond 
this the tennis-court and stables. The gardens lay at 
the back of the house, and were overlooked by a terrace 
with an elaborate crypto - porticus underneath. This 
terrace communicated with the gardens by a flight of 
stairs in the form of a crescent, of which De I'Orme 
was particularly proud, and of which he says, " Ceux 
qui voudront voir telles oeuvres s*ils ont quelque scintille 
de bon jugement ils y pourront trouver quelques bons 
traicts.** On the other three sides of the garden was a 
covered -in gallery with alternate square and arched 
openings to the garden. At the two angles of the 


garden, north-east and north-west, stood two pavilions, 
and in the centre between them the garden wail broke 
outwards into a circular projection, enclosing a great 
hall of entertainment. In addition to this, there was a 
heronry and a very elaborate orangery. Anet was, in 
fact, a perfect example of the best country house that 
skill and money could build in France about the middle 
of the sixteenth century. The building was altered in 
1683, and by the beginning of the last century the 
whole of the north side opposite the entrance, and all 
the left wing excepting the chapel and part of the south 
wall with corbelling to the angle turrets, had dis- 
appeared. Not a trace remains of the tennis-court, old 
stables, orangery, or heronry ; and all that is left of the 
gardens to the north of the house are the ruins of the 
crypto-porticus. I visited Anet in 1903, and found 
that of the buildings shown in Du Cerceau's view, look- 
ing south and working from right to left, there now 
remain the right-hand south-west pavilion, the right 
lE^ng of the house a good deal altered and rebuilt, the 
entrance block, the chapel and part of the south wall of 
the left wing, all the raised terrace and left-hand (or 
south-east) pavilion, together with the walls to the 
moat along the south and part of the east side, the 
entrance to the base-court on the east side, and the 
ruins of the crypto-porticus in the garden. In addition 
to this, there is the very remarkable chapel, now dis- 
used, which stands apart to the right or west of the 
building, and which is not shown in Du Cerceau's 
general view. 

Of De rOrme's work at Anet the most important 


remains are, of course, the chapel next the base-court, 
and the entrance. The plan of the chapel consists of a 
circle, 28 ft. in diameter, with recesses 14 ft. wide, and 
from 6 ft. 6 in. to 7 ft. 3 in. deep on the axis lines. 
These recesses have elliptical arches, and are divided by 
piers with engaged Corinthian pilasters at the angles, 
carrying an entablature which runs all round the build- 
ing. The centre circle continues above this entablature, 
and there are no pendentives, with the result that the 
elliptical arches are in winding, giving a very ugly line. 
Above the arches is the main entablature and a hemi- 
spherical dome, coffered diagonally, with an opening in 
the crown to the lantern and cupola. The coffering of 
the dome is reproduced on the floor in a very ingenious 
inlay of different marbles — black, white, porphyry, verd 
antique, dove -coloured, and various Breche marbles. 
In the spandrels of the arches are eight fine female 
figures, those on the east and west sides holding olive 
branches, those on the north and south sides holding 
trumpets. On the soffit of the arches are winged 
figures of children carrying the emblems of the passion ; 
all of these are attributed to Jean Goujon, and the 
spandrel figures anticipate the splendid " Fames " that 
Goujon was to carve a few years later for Lescot, in the 
Louvre. The interior of the chapel has a striking, if 
somewhat bizarre, individuality ; but one notices here, 
as in all De I'Orme's work, a certain " mesquinerie " of 
detail. De I'Orme was a man of an ingenious fancy. 
The use of a sarcophagus for a chimney-top is an unfortu- 
nate instance ; but he refined too much, or rather he 
was overpowered by his own knowledge, and he could 



not refrain from elaborating his detail to a point beyond 
the limits of well-balanced art. This somewhat trifling 

£» J nctfJ FWX i ST V M 



P. dc I'Orme, Architect. 

imagination appears in the design of the entrance gate- 
way ; the details are scholarly and correct, the marbles 
for the inlay carefully considered, but the scale is wrong. 

As refaccH by Caristie, 1844. P. dc I'Ormc, Architect. 


Cellini's great lolloping nymph in the tympanum of 
the arch reduces the whole composition to the scale of 
a wedding-cake. De I'Orme was happier with the 
interior of this entrance, with its plain Doric order, and 
in the very attractive little loggia to the chapel. The 
frontispiece in the courtyard of the Ecole des Beaux- 
Arts gives some idea of the detail at Anet, though 
owing to the ridiculous way in which it has been set up 
against a gable, it is quite misleading as to the general 
effect of De TOrme's design. 

Anet presents certain difficult problems. In the 
first place, the chapel as shown in Du Cerceau*s view 
has its west front built in by the left wing of the house. 
It is difficult to imagine that De TOrme would so have 
designed it, as the two towers of the western front, with 
their pyramidal tops, could only have had their effect 
if seen from the main court. As shown in Du Cerceau's 
view, only the tops of the spires would be visible from 
the further side of this court. It appears, however, 
from a plate in the Premier Tome (p. 234), that De 
rOrme would have got over the difficulty by hipping 
back the roof of the left wing of the main court on 
either side of these towers, keeping the roof low in 
front of the chapel facade. These plates were made 
before 1567, that is earlier than Du Cerceau's view, 
which shows the design as carried out. The probable 
explanation is that a change in the design was ordered 
by the Duchess, and that the towers were sacrificed to 
the symmetry of the main quadrangle ; and it appears, 
from a passage in the Nouvelles Inventions^ that this 

1 p. 325. 


was not the only instance in which the architect's hand 
was forced by the imperious Diana. The existing west 
facade was put up by M. Caristie in 1844. Another 
and greater difficulty is the strongly-marked variations 
of handiwork shown in different parts of the building. 
The work, which is undoubtedly De I'Orme's, and 
described above, was built in stone ; but the walls to 
the moat and the angle pavilions, and the great chapel 
to the west of the chateau, are built in red brick and 
stone dressings, and show a very much bolder treatment 
than the rest of the work. This, in my opinion, is 
particularly the case with the western chapel. It is 
almost impossible to believe that this was designed by 
the architect of the circular chapel. The characteristic 
of the latter is a certain intricacy of design and petti- 
ness of scale ; whereas the west chapel is remarkable 
for its extreme simplicity and the masterly boldness of 
its detail. The interior consists of an oblong nave 
about 52 ft. by 27 ft. wide, covered in with a brick 
barrel vault. At the end opposite the entrance is a 
semicircular apse with a semi-dome, and to the right 
and left are small circular brick chambers in two storeys 
with newel stairs leading to the roof. The walls, for 
a height of 8.9 ft. above the floor, are lined with 
dressed stone ; above this the red brick shows, but it 
may once have been covered with plaster. The barrel- 
vaulted ceiling appears to have been covered with 
plaster. The double " D " of Diane de Poitiers appears 
on one of the old oak doors, so that the building was 
probably completed before her death in 1566. In the 
Instruction (dated about 1560), De I'Orme refers to 


what he had done at Anet, by the command of the 
late King, as if he was no longer employed there. It 
is possible that, on the death of Henry II., Catherine 
de Medicis, the bitter enemy of Diane, may have 
insisted on De TOrme's quitting the service of the 
Duchess ; and De TOrme, having to choose between 
the Tuileries and what yet remained to be done at 
Anet, chose the Tuileries. This is an hypothesis only, 
to account for the marked difference of style at Anet ; 
and to complete the speculation I should suggest that 
Diane called in Bullant, the architect of her staunch old 
friend the Constable, Anne de Montmorenci. The 
profiles of the mouldings and the simplicity of treat- 
ment are more suggestive of Bullant's audacious genius 
than of the work of any other architect of the time. 

De rOrme was particularly proud of a clever bit of 
construction which he carried out at Anet. A cabinet 
was wanted for the King's room. As the walls were 
already up, De I'Orme built the cabinet in a re-entering 
angle of the two walls, hanging it out in the air as he 
describes it, on an arch of stone starting from a single 
point, and curling upwards and outwards and back 
again on the circular plan till it met one of the two 
walls again. The cabinet was circular in plan, and 
projected some 10 to 12 ft. on the diagonal. It had 
three projections from the face for the windows, and 
the whole of it was constructed in stone. This was the 
celebrated "Trompe d'Anet" described in De I'Orme's 
Fourth Book. He there says the name was derived 
from "trompette" owing to the similarity of the 
shape. The only condition of its construction is, that 


it must start from a re-entering angle with two sides to 
work from. The whole of the thrust is brought into 
the angle, and if the walls are strong enough to stand 
it, the trompe, theoretically, might have an indefinite 
projection. De TOrme said he should have made his 
"trompe" at Anet twice the projection if he could 
have trusted the walls, and that he had previously 
constructed one in the Rue de la Juifrie at Lyons in 
1536, and another in the Rue de la Savaterie at Paris. 
He expressly insists that this method of construction 
is different from the simple device of corbelling out,^ of 
which he speaks with some contempt, and he goes at 
great length into the methods of setting out masonry 
for trompes, not for his own glory, but to communicate 
to others " le talent avec lequel Dieu m'a liberalement 
doue en ce peu de cognoissance que j'ay de Tart de 

Anet was De TOrme's most important building during 
the years 1550-60 ; but he was busily engaged through- 
out the whole of the reign of Henry II. For Diane de 
Poitiers he designed the bridge and gallery of Chenon- 
ceaux, a successful addition to the older building. The 
contract for the work was signed in January 1557, and 
the work was carried out under the superintendence 
of De rOrme's younger brother Jehan, who appears 
fitfully on the scene, following the ups and downs of 
his brother's fortunes. The specifications, a certificate 
for payment, and a letter referring to the work, still 
exist in the archives of Chenonceaux — De TOrme also 

^ In Lady Dilke*s Freiuh Renaissance the trompe it wrongly described at 


designed the offices — M. Vachon says that the roof, 
which was known in the neighbourhood as the " Char- 
pente a la Philibert," was only destroyed in the 
eighteenth century. Meanwhile his duties as Inspector- 
General kept him busily employed. "Combien de 
ruynes et perilz fussent advenuz audict Fontainebleau 
sans moy, et mesmes a la grande gallerye, et semblable- 
ment a Villiers-Coteretz.*' ^ His work at Fontainebleau 
consisted of a pulpit and other works in the Chapel, a 
cabinet or small room for Catherine de Medicis, and 
another for Henry II. in the pavilion overlooking the 
lake, a staircase in the base-court "qui est une des 
plus belles ceuvres que Ton scauroyt veoir,"^ and 
various repairs to the Salle de Bal or Galerie de 
Henri II. The nature of these repairs is obscure. 
The hall, as is well known, was designed for a vaulted 
ceiling, but before the walls were up the vaulting was 
abandoned and a flat ceiling substituted. M. Palustre 
and M. Dimier assume that De TOrme was responsible 
for the change. It seems to me that this is a calumny 
on De rOrme. A man of his training would hardly 
have been guilty of such architectural stupidity as to 
Ignore the raison d'itre of the plan and construction of 
this building when it came to covering it in. The hall 
is designed with deep arched bays in masonry on either 
side, with the intention of meeting the thrust of the 
vaulting to the centre aisle. To substitute at the last 
moment a flat ceiling for this centre vaulting was to 
stultify the whole design. The evidence, so far from 

^ Inifructkm, Bcrty, p. 55. 

^ JhiJ, p. 54. This staircase was replaced by the existing stairs from the 
■designs of Lemercier under Louis XIII. 


substantiating the charge against De TOrme, seems to 
clear him. Serlio says distinctly that the alteration was 
made by command of " a person in superior authority," 
and that though he himself was on the spot at the time, 
and held the position of architect to the King, he was 
never consulted as to the alteration. It seems clear 
from this that the alteration was made before the death 
of Francis I. in 1547, and before the appointment of 
De rOrme as architect to Henry II. The only person 
in superior authority at the time was Primaticcio. He 
was, moreover, the person most concerned in the matter 
on account of his decorations, and I think it is pretty 
certain that he was the person who ordered the altera- 
tion. A further piece of indirect evidence is supplied 
by De I'Orme himself. In his Instruction (Berty, p. 54) 
he says, " A Fontaynebleau, la grande salle du Bal qui 
tomboyt, n*este-elle pas bien accoustree, tant de lambris 
que de la chemynee et massonerye et entree des peinc- 
tures ? Je n'en parle poinct. Monsieur St. Martin 
(Primaticcio) scait son etat." In the Nouvelles Inven^ 
tions^ De I'Orme describes the disgraceful state of this 
ceiling. It was formed of big beams covered with 
plaster panels. The beams, he says,^ had decayed, and 
were only held up by the stucco cornice, and when they 
were taken down they were so rotten that they fell to 
pieces in the process. Had they fallen of themselves 
they must have brought the building down, "joinct 
que la ma^onnerie du diet pavilion ne vaut gueres." 
Now De rOrme was the last man in the world to give 
himself away, or admit that he failed in his j work, and 

^ NouveiUs htventkm^ pp. 323-24. 


he refers here to the original flat ceiling which Prima- 
ticcio substituted for the vaulting. When De I'Orme 
wrote his Instruction he had been superseded by Prima- 
ticcio, and his reference to " M. St. Martin " was an 
intentional reminder to the public of Primaticcio's 
incompetence as an architect The repairs to the 
ceiling to which De I'Orme refers were carried out 
either in 1554-56 or 1557.* Scibec of Carpi was doing 
joinery work at Fontainebleau under De TOrme in 
each of these years. The lucarnes or dormer windows 
at Fontainebleau were also, I believe, designed by De 
rOrme. There is no documentary evidence to prove 
this, but the design is in De I'Orme's manner, and, 
apart from the ornament, resembles a pediment given 
on p. 266 of his Premier Tome. 

During the years between 1547 and 1559 De I'Orme, 
as architect-in-general to the King, carried out a variety 
of minor works on the Royal Palaces. He built a 
chapel at Villars-Cotterets in the park, now destroyed. 
Here he introduced an invention of which he was par- 
ticularly proud, " the French order," one of the most 
illogical fancies that ever entered the head of this 
ingenious architect. It consisted of emphasising (or, 
according to De I'Orme, concealing) the joints of the 
stones forming the shaft of the column with bands of 
ornament. By this means, De I'Orme contended, 
people would not see that the column was built up of 
several stones, forgetting that the charm and beauty of 
a column is the unbroken sweep of its outline. Freart 
said that it made the columns look as if they had been 

^ CompteSf vol. i. pp. 244, 282, 322. 


"glued together and repaired." De TOrme employed 
his French order at the Tuilerjes and elsewhere,^ and it 
has remained as one of the ntost unfortunate of his 
legacies to modern French architecture. NHis strength, 
in fact, lay rather in mechanical inVcntiofi, Till De 
rOrme took building construction in hand, French 
carpenters stuck obstinately to the good old blundering 
method of throwing a beam from wall to wall, both as 
a tie and as a strut, and on this they rested their roofs. 
The result was that the possible limits of span were very 
soon reached, and it became a difficult and costly matter 
to get baulks of timber large enough for the purpose. 
Moreover, if the bearings decayed, the beam settled, 
and tended to thrust the walls out. This set De 
rOrme thinking. He describes in the preface to his 
Premier Tome how he came to the conclusion that 
there would soon be a failure of timber for the beams 
of the great halls of Royal Palaces, and how he hit upon 
the remedy of built-up framing. He informed the 
King that he had a device, but being laughed at as a 
liar he dropped the subject and left the workmen to 
struggle on with their great unwieldy timbers. But 
some time afterwards the Queen obtained an estimate 
for roofing in the tennis-court at Monceaux, and when 
she consulted De I'Orme as to its excessive cost, the 
latter again mentioned his invention and was allowed 
to make the experiment at La Muette.* His roof was 
so successful that the fame of it reached the King, who 
commanded him to write a book about it.* This De 

^ Premier Tome, p. 22 x ^jerso. 

* Destroyed in the Revolution. Berty. 

* The NowvelUs Irrventioittj 1561. 


rOrmc says he consented to do, presenting his know- 
ledge to his fellows ^^ much as if a man should present 
a statue of gold or silver to the State." His work, 
however, at La Muette could not have been quite the 
success that De I'Orme made out. La Muette was a 
hunting-box built for Francois L by Chambiges, about 
two leagues from St. Germains, and was covered in 
with a terrace of stone paving as at St. Germains. Du 
Cerceau says that De TOrme, wishing to heighten this 
storey, constructed on the top of the terrace a new roof, 
which De I'Orme himself describes as consisting of a 
wooden vault,^ 60 ft. in span, covered with tiles, with 
at the top " une petite allee," covered with lead as a 
Belvedere. De TOrme had such absolute faith in his* 
construction that he says it would, if necessary, carry 
heavy masonry or even artillery. Unfortunately, when 
Du Cerceau wrote his description, a few years later, this- 
roof had already fallen in.^ 

De rOrme employed his favourite construction again 
to cover in a tennis-court at " Monsseau " ' for the 
Queen-mother, and at Limours for Diane de Poitiers,, 
where he put up a roof over a hall 84 ft. long by 3 1 ft. 
wide, so ingeniously constructed that " ce que coustait 
trois mille francs tant bois que fa^^on, n'est revenu a 
mil."* He also put up galleries over the garden 
pavilion at Anet to take the musicians when the King 
was in the park, another above the roof of the chapel 
at Fontainebleau, and elsewhere. In his Nouvelles 

' De rOrme, Architecture^ No. 190, V®., tad Itutnutwn d* M, d*Tvry^ pp. 55^ 
56. ' See Appendix II. 

' Imtructioftj p. 56. Monsseau here is meant for Monceaux. 
^ beventiwij livre z. p. 296. 


Inventions De TOrme gives a design for a great Basilica 
measuring 240 ft, by 150 ft., with a gallery along the 
top, resembling St. Pancras station on a diminutive 
scale ; of this design he was so much enamoured that 
he says it was unheard of anywhere else, and that it was 
only by the grace of God that he was inspired to invent 
it. As a fact, De I'Orme's method of built-up carpentry 
was a useful and original invention, and both in this 
and in such bold conceptions as that of throwing an 
arch across the river at St. Germains in a single span he 
showed the strongly constructive bent of his genius. 
His real interest lay in what would now be classified as 
engineering. He appears to have made extensive 
designs for buildings at St. Germains, but the work was 
taken out of his hands on the accession of Francis II., 
after he had done little more than build a chapel in the 
park and begun the building of a gallery to connect the 
palace with a new theatre.^ His work in the Chapel of 
Vincennes, carried out probably in 1556,' is rather 
remarkable. De TOrme says that he constructed and 
completed all the vaults. No trace of his manner is 
now apparent in the chapel, and the only conclusion is 
that he superintended the building of the vaults in the 
old manner, or, as the workmen called it, " la mode 
fran^aise."' He is said to have reconstructed the 
vaulting of the Porte Chapelle at Compiegne, and here 
he designed the new facade over the archway, which 

^ This theatre was built by Henry II. oa the brow of the hill overlooking the 
river. A plan and elevation are given by Du Cerceau, and it it shown as executed 
in the great bird's-eye view of St. Germains, made by Alexander Francini in 1614. 
The theatre was in fact a court planned as a square with concave angles, and a 
semicircular projection on each of the four sides. 

' Instruction^ p. 59. ' Premier Tome^ Book iv. chap. viii. 


O = 
n W 

g^ n 

rT O 
^ S 





*'^ 1 IT^' 

\ • V 


''in'Cs '^ ■■■ 


starts from battered walls, standing at an obtuse re- 
entering angle. This is an attractive little composition, 
and seems to me a very able solution of a difficult 
problem. For once in a way the fa^^ade is complete 
and unaltered, for De TOrme had extraordinarily bad 
luck with his architecture, and scarcely any work of his 
remains as he left it. Even the tomb of Francis I., in 
the Church of St. Denis, was taken out of his hands 
after he had been employed on it for at least ten years. 
The monument is first referred to in the Comptes under 
the year 1552, but the work had been contracted for 
earlier. The plan is a Greek cross with a wide arch- 
way in the middle, running east and west, within which 
lie the bodies of the King and Queen, each on a 
sarcophagus. The north and south arms have smaller 
archways running east and west, and forming parallel 
passages to the central arch. The elevations consist of 
a continuous pedestal standing on a deep moulded base, 
and very elaborately carved in low relief by Pierre Bon- 
temps, with representations of the victory of CerisoUes 
(1544), and of battle-scenes from the Italian campaign 
of 15 15. Above the pedestal starts an Ionic order of 
columns with regular entablature and a plain blocking 
course. On the top of the monument are placed in a 
most uncomfortable manner five kneeling figures of 
Francis I., his wife Queen Claude, their children, the 
Dauphin and the Due d'Orleans, and the King^s mother, 
Louise of Savoy. It is probable that De TOrme was 
not responsible for this, and that the figures were placed 
there by Primaticcio, who superseded him in 1559, 
before the monument was completed. Ambroise Perret 



carved the figures in the spandrel in 1558, but in 
October 1559 Primaticcio contracted with Germain 
Pilon, then twenty-three, and Ponce Jacquiau,^ each of 
whom undertook to provide eight figures, three and a 
half feet high, " en bosse ronde sur marbre blanc, pour 
appliquer au tombeau/' It appears from a payment 
made in 1560^ to Jacquiau for his figures, that these 
were "figures of fortune," small genii figured as 
children. These, however, were never put up, 
Primaticcio kept them at the Hotel de Nesle, and 
does not appear to have otherwise interfered with De 
rOrme's design. 

The merits of this monument are its extreme care 
and delicacy of detail, its skilful use of marbles, and a 
certain scholarly correctness of proportion and design. 
As compared with the Justes' monument to Louis XII. 
in St. Denis (1517-32), it shows a marked advance 
in refinement and technique. Yet somehow it fails to 
impress one. The triumphal arch treatment seems 
singularly inappropriate to a tomb, not only in senti- 
ment but in fact. It is impossible to see more than 
the backs of the heads and the soles of the feet of the 
bodies of the King and Queen ; moreover, the scale of 
the monument is so small that it is difficult to escape 
the idea of a toy model. For the grotesque and indeed 
childish arrangement of the five kneeling figures dumped 
about on the top, De I'Orme was probably not respon- 
sible, nor was he for the unpleasant habit of representing 
the bodies of the King and Queen with all the waste of 
death. This indeed was a relic of mediaevalism, but an 

' Ccmptei^ ii. 4. * Ibid, ii. 33. 

P. dc rOrmc, Architect. 


ingrained humanist would either have made a stand 
against the custom, or would have so thought out his 
design as to veil their naked hideousness. One cannot 
help feeling that there is here too much reliance on 
knowledge rather than imagination, too much of the 
merely technical architect, too little of the sculptor, 
G)ntrast it with the monument to Henry II. on the 
opposite side of the church. Lescot's composition 
is less elaborate, he was content with a simple archi- 
tectural design ; but Pilon's bronze figures at the 
angles stand out in magnificent relief agdnst the plain 
white marble, and the tomb appeals to the emotions, 
not merely to the dry appreciation of the intellect. In 
De rOrme's design there is a certain hardness which 
leaves one a litde cold and unconvinced. 

De rOrme might have buried the ambitions of his 
life in the tomb of Francis I. He was yet to design 
the Tuileries for the Queen-mother, but Catherine de 
Medicis was not the staunch friend that Henry II. 
had always shown himself to De TOrme, and the death 
of that King in 1559 was the signal for an outburst of 
clamour and evil speaking which lost De TOrme and 
many another good man their place at the Court. 
That lance-thrust of Montgomery was doubly fatal. 
It broke down the last barrier that stayed the rising 
tide of passion, and plunged the country into thirty 
years of internecine strife. Within three years of the 
King's death Jean Goujon had to flee for his life to 
Italy, and the train was already laid that was to blaze 
into hideous fury on St. Bartholomew's night. 

Henry II. died on the 10th of July 1559. On 12th 


July a patent was issued appointing Primaticcio to the 
control of all the royal buildings within ten leagues 
of Paris, with the express exception of the Louvre, 
and dismissing Philibert de TOrme and his brother 
Jean. The wording of the passages, which I sum- 
marise from the original abstract,^ is significant : — 
" Francis, by the grace of God king of France, to all 
whom it may concern, greeting. Inasmuch as on our 
accession we have found several buildings begun by the 
late king Francis and by the late King our own 
honoured father nearly completed, and others in such a 
state that if not completed they will fall into ruin, we, 
wishing to complete these buildings and to learn how 
they have been conducted hitherto, and having com- 
plete confidence in ^ nostre aime et feal conseiller et 
aumonier ordinaire, Francisque Primadicy dc Bollogne 
en Italic, abbe de St. Martin de Trois, et de ses sens, 
suffisance, loyaute, preud'homme, diligence, et grande 
experience en Tart d'architecture dont il a fait plusieurs 
fois grandes preuves en divers bastiments,' hereby 
appoint him to the complete control of all our build- 
ings, except the Louvre, and to the discharge of all the 
functions hitherto discharged by * Maistre Philibert de 
Lorme, abbe d'lvry, et Jean de Lorme son frere . . . 
lesquels, pour aucunes causes et considerations a ce nous 
mouvans,' we hereby discharge." In the quotation 
above given it will be noticed that De I'Orme is no 
longer the " aime et feal Conseiller et Ausmonier ordi- 
naire " of the patent of Henry II. ; all his titles and 
testimonials are transferred to Primaticcio. He is plain 

^ Comfites, ii. 13. 


" maistre," and he and his brother are dismissed without 
any specified reason, merely for certain " causes et con- 
siderations a ce nous mouvans" — the "nous" being 
Francis IL, a sickly youth of sixteen, who had been just 
two days on the throne. On the other hand, Primaticcio 
is described as having great experience in the art of 
architecture, and as having given proof of it in divers 
buildings. On the wording of this patent, M. Dimier 
bases much of his theory in regard to Primaticcio's role 
as an architect. In the first place, he says, the words 
show that Primaticcio was recognised as an architect, 
that he succeeded in full to De TOrme^s duties, and that 
if it is conceded that the latter really acted as architect 
at Fontainebleau, St. Germains, and elsewhere, this 
should also be conceded in the case of Primaticcio ; 
that the one, in short, was as much an architect as the 
other. In the second place, he says that the dismissal of 
De rOrme was not a court intrigue run by Primaticcio, 
as might be supposed, but was really due to De TOrme's 
own desire to be relieved of the serious responsibility of 
dealing with the payments and accounts of the royal 
buildings. To prove that De I'Orme was not dis- 
graced, he adduces the fact that within the next few 
years De TOrme was again employed by Catherine de 
Medicis, and that it was at this period of his career that 
he was most spitefully attacked by Ronsard and the 
rest of his enemies at the French court. M. Dimier*s 
hero thus emerges from this awkward passage with 
redoubled honour, for in the first place he appears at 
about the age of sixty as the accomplished architect, 
never having practised the art before ; and in the 


second place he is acquitted by M. Dimier of any com- 
plicity in intrigues against his professional rivals. M. 
Dimier presents his argument with the logical precision 
which is so attractive in French writers, but there is a 
somewhat scanty foundation in fact. This is not the 
place to discuss Primaticcio's qualifications as an archi- 
tect. I would only point out that there is no record of 
any architectural design having been made by him, and 
that in the very exhaustive catalogue raisonni of his 
drawings compiled by M. Dimier, the only approach to 
one that I can find is a drawing for the tomb of the 
Guises at Joinville. In the Comptes^ Primaticcio only 
figures as controller and superintendent ; he arranges 
for the purchase of material for the tomb of Henry II. 
in exactly the same way as he arranges for the com- 
pletion of the tomb of Francis I. Even M. Dimier 
does not claim for him that he designed either of these 
monuments. The confidence expressed in the patent in 
Primaticcio's ability as an architect might mean anything 
or nothing, and probably amounts to little more than 
the preambles and verbiage with which the draughts- 
man was bound to garnish such documents.^ As for the 
young king himself, with his two days on the throne 
and his known ineptitude, it is impossible that he was 
concerned in the matter. The patent was issued only 
two days after the death of his father, it must therefore 
have been prepared beforehand, and was probably the 
first step by which the Guises meant to assert their 

^ At a fact they arc identical with the wording of Dc rOrme*t patent, except for 
the addition of the words quoted above, ** grande experience . . . bastimente,*' and 
these I believe to have been expressly inserted to conceal the scandal of appointing 
as Controller of the Royal Buildings a man without any experience in architecture. 


ascendency over the late king's party. By means of it, 
they showed the powerlessness of Diane de Poitiers to 
protect her favourite, and they followed up the stroke a 
few months later by dismissing Jean BuUant, the protigi 
of the Constable Anne de Montmorency. The fact 
that De I'Orme is curtly referred to as "maistre" 
shows that the disgrace was intentional, and there is not 
the least doubt that De TOrme took it as such. The 
abuse of Ronsard and his following seems to me to 
prove the precise opposite to the inference drawn from 
it by M, Dimier. During the lifetime of his patron, 
Henry II., De I'Orme's position was too strong to be 
attacked, but as soon as he was left defenceless the 
Court poet found his opportunity, and trampled on his 
man when he was down. The suggestion that De 
rOrme was relieved of his work at his own request is 
disproved, not only by his repeated outbursts at the 
ingratitude of those who had turned on him, but also 
by the fact that at the time when Primaticcio was 
appointed architect-general, BuUant held the post of 
registrar of accounts on the royal buildings ; in other 
words, at the time when De TOrme was dismissed he 
was not responsible for the financial work which M. 
Dimier suggests as a reason for his voluntary with- 
drawal. The subsequent patronage of Catherine de 
Medicis is another matter. The great effort of her 
policy was to maintain the royal power by a careful 
balance of parties. She had no particular reason to 
love the Guises. For instance, when the Guises carried 
off the young king from Fontainebleau to Paris, they 
told her that it was immaterial whether she followed 


them to Paris or returned to Italy. Such an insult was 
not likely to remain unanswered. It is not easy to 
follow the tortuous working of that subtle mind, but 
one may be sure she never forgot or forgave. The 
desire to check the Guises, the memory of her husband's 
friendship for De TOrme, her own hereditary apprecia- 
tion of art, are quite sufficient motives to account for 
the queen-mother's patronage of De I'Orme, in spite of 
his having fallen upon evil days. 


The result of De I'Orme's dismissal from the post 
of Controller of the Royal Buildings was to put an 
end to his practice, at any rate for the time. The 
disgrace appears to have been absolute so far as the 
Court was concerned, and De I'Orme never wholly re- 
covered his position. His impetuous temper had been 
his undoing. Those furious raids on the dishonesty of 
court officials, which had won him distinction in his 
early years, had also made him lifelong enemies, and 
it is to be doubted if De I'Orme had great capacities 
for friendship. His nature, in so far as one can read 
it in his writings, was self-centred, and he had now to 
pay the penalty for a certain aloofness which seems to 
have detached him from his contemporaries. In this 
enforced retirement De I'Orme had leisure to com- 
plete the accoimt of his new invention in carpentry. 
In 1 56 1 he brought out his Nouvelles inventions 
pour bien basHr et i petits Fraiz, and about this 
time he must have made considerable progress with 


his treatise on architecture, to which he devoted 
himself intermittently for the rest of his life. How- 
ever, he was yet to have one more chance. Probably 
soon after the close of the first civil war (edict of 
Amboise, 1563) De TOrme was instructed to prepare 
his plans for the Tuileries. The idea of a palace on 
this site was not a new one. Francois I. had thought 
of building here for Louise of Savoy, and had gone so 
far as to purchase two large houses and grounds dating 
from 1342, standing in part of the old Tile fields. 
Nothing further came of his project, but the scheme 
was revived by Catherine de Medicis, who determined 
to build herself a more cheerful residence than the 
mediaeval Louvre. A passion for light and air was to 
dominate the design. No towering walls were to shut 
out the sun — the methods of the Italian palace-builders 
were ruled out not less than those of the builders of 
Fontainebleau. De TOrme was to think out his 
problem for himself, and the result was the long low 
line of the elevation ; for the greater part of the 
building, excepting the pavilions, was designed as a 
ground storey with an attic above, lit by elaborate 
lucarne windows in the steep-pitched roof. De TOrme's 
general plan consisted of a large oblong, about 804 
feet long by 504 feet wide, with pavilions at the four 
angles, a single pavilion in the centre of the narrower 
sides, and three intermediate pavilions in the longer sides 
of the oblong. The oblong itself was divided into 
three. In the centre was a square court with broad 
colonnades on two sides only, leaving an oblong open 
space in the centre. To the right and left of this 


central court were two narrower courts, each of which 
was divided in the centre by a remarkable oval build- 
ing, apparently consisting of colonnades surrounding 
an oval amphitheatre. Of this gigantic scheme De 
rOrme only carried out the ground-floor storey of the 
centre part of the west or garden facade, including the 
great elliptical staircase as far as the first floor. The 
side courts were never attempted at all, and the actual 
building as left by De TOrme was unmercifully altered 
by succeeding architects. On De TOrme's death in 
1570, BuUant, who succeeded him, altered the design 
of the end pavilions. J. Androuet du Cerceau con- 
tinued the building northwards and southwards to the 
river for Henri IV., but did so to a totally diflferent 
design, for he introduced a great Corinthian order, 
running up two storeys, just twice the size of the order 
used by De TOrme and Brillant ; this ruined the eflfect 
of De rOrme's design, and almost necessitated that 
entire re-modelling of the elevation which was ordered 
by Colbert in 1664, a hundred years after the work was 
begim. Du Cerceau also designed the end pavilion, 
which, in spite of BlondeFs unfavourable criticism, 
appears to me to have been a fine massive design. 
The gallery along the south side, next the river, and 
joining the south end of the Tuileries to the Louvre, 
was begun by Etienne du Perac, for Henri IV., and 
continued by Clement Metezeau. The final dis- 
appearance of De rOrme's design was due to Louis le 
Veau (died 1670) and his pupil Francois d'Orbay 
(died 1698), the architects of Louis XIV. To that 
aspiring young monarch, the ideas of the sixteenth- 


century master seemed trivial, and there can be no 
doubt that Du Cerceau's work, fine though it was in 
itself, had ruined the scale of the original design. Le 
Veau and d'Orbay were accordingly instructed to deal 
with the whole facade, and this they did in a very 
wholesale manner. De TOrme's central pavilion was 
swallowed up in the gigantic pavilion de THorloge, 
which absorbed the end bay of the galleries on either side. 
They swept away the roof, the elaborate windows, and 
the "ridicule decoration" ^ by BuUant, and carried up the 
building two more storeys, with a balustrade along the 
top and a steep roof with lucarnes. They simplified, 
and I think considerably improved, the facades of the 
pavilions, and generally purified the "licenses con- 
damnables"* of Du Cerceau's design. As a piece of 
academic remodelling Le Veau and d'Orbay did their 
work thoroughly and well ; not they but Du Cerceau 
was responsible for that hopeless discrepancy of scale 
which made the satisfactory treatment of the building 
as a whole impossible ; but the net result was that 
for good or for bad the quality of De TOrme's 
work was lost. The delicacy of his detail, the pictur- 
esque charm of his outline, had no chance against the 
weighty classic of Louis XIV. As for the emblems 
of widowhood with which Catherine de Medicis had 
adorned her palace — the shattered mirrors, broken fans, 
the loosened strings of pearls — these were swept away 
to make room for the trophies of the King, and in 
this wholesale garnishing there disappeared the famous 
staircase once esteemed a work of superhuman skill. 

1 Blondel, iv. 82. « Blondel. 


It was indeed a very able piece of masonry. De 
rOrme had designed it as a large open-well staircase 
running round an oval chamber without central 
supports,^ and the story was that for some years after 
his death no one would venture to complete it, till 
a mason named Boullet stated that he had found De 
rOrme's drawing, and was allowed by Henry IV. to 
complete the staircase, which he did in a very unsatis- 
factory manner. Another story was that the staircase 
was designed for De I'Orme by a ghost, a certain Jean 
Vast, who, finding that De TOrme was attempting to 
get possession of his design, destroyed the drawing 
and fled, whereupon De TOrme had to finish the stair- 
case as best he could. This account may be dismissed 
at once as one of the libels industriously circulated by 
De rOrme's enemies. If there was one thing De 
rOrme had studied and mastered it was the art of 
setting out masonry, and in knowledge of practical 
construction he was probably without an equal. 

The Tuileries Palace was burned to the ground by 
the Commune in May 1871,* and we are practically 
reduced to Du Cerceau's plan and elevation, and the 
notes and illustrations in Blondel's Architecture Fran- 
faise^ for materials for a critical estimate of De TOrme's 
masterpiece. So far as it is possible to judge from such 

^ From Blondel's plan I make out that it must have measured about 52.6 x 30. 
There is a similar staircase in the H6tel Dieu at Laon. 

' Fragments of the Ionic orders of the palace have been set up at the Place de la 
Concorde end of the Tuileries gardens, behind a lemonade stand. One column has 
De rOrme's favourite bands and is very ugly, the other is fluted with delicate 
ornament in the flutes, and is an attractive piece of detail. The diameter of the 
columns is about twenty inches. Those who study the nuances of classical detail 
will notice the curious flattened curve of the pulvinated frieze. The ruins of the 
Tuileries were not finally removed till 1882. 



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scanty evidence, the palace deserved the admiration 
freely bestowed on it by contemporaries. Fifty years 
later, when Inigo Jones was called on to design White- 
hall, he found no better model for his plan than De 
rOrme's design for the Tuileries, I have noted above 
the originality of De TOrme's general treatment, how 
he broke away not only from the traditions of his own 
contemporaries, but also from those of the Italians, in 
the deliberate horizontality of his design — a motive, 
by the way, which he had approached before, in his 
first design for St. Maur les Fosses. Here, at any 
rate, was an individual note, the personal contribution 
of an architect who thought for himself. The general 
conception of the Tuileries, the grouping of its courts 
and colonnades, were in advance of what had yet been 
done in France by any one. The merit of Lescot's 
work at the Louvre lay in its ornament rather than 
its architecture : it was an immense vehicle for 
superb architectural sculpture. De TOrme, too, was 
fond of his ornament, too much so, indeed, but he 
approached architecture as an architect — he knew 
that its chief efFort should be devoted to the general 
ordinance of building, to conceptions which include 
and assign to their proper place all the detdls that 
go to make up the whole. With the detdl itself 
one is not very much impressed. It seems to have 
suffered from that meticulousness which De FOrme's 
invention seldom escaped. He himself tells us that 
his inlays of jasper and marble and the like were 
dictated by the taste of the Queen-mother, but De 
rOrme himself saw eye to eye with her in this ; and 


it is curious to find in a man of his temperament 
an almost feminine weakness for the knick-knacks 
of design. 

The building of the Tuileries was hardly begun 
when De FOrme died, in January 1570. His latter 
days had been days of adversity, with only the 
capricious patronage of Catherine de Medicis to stand 
between him and the hatred of powerful and unscrupu- 
lous enemies. With less dignity than Wren, yet not 
without a singular pathos, he cries out that his long 
years of service to the State and devotion to his art had 
earned him nothing but his white beard ; and indeed 
there is no stranger piece of autobiography in the lives 
of architects than the famous Instruction de M. d'lvry^ 
diet de rOrme — ^that despairing Apologia pro vita sua 
which he dashed off in the bitterness of disgrace, not, 
he says, for his own glory and honour, but in order 
that all princes, noblemen, and honourable gentlemen 
may know the truth in face of the great hatred and 
calumny with which he was persistently attacked. 
The Instruction^ which is transcribed in full in M. 
Berty's Les Grands Architectes^ is worth reading, not 
only for its historical importance but as characteristic 
of De rOrme himself. Words fail him in his fury to 
repel the attacks of his enemies ; the facts seem to 
tumble over each other in his memory, with the result 
of this half- incoherent but very real and personal 

The Instruction appears to have been written about 
1560, and was addressed to "Monseigneur et meilleur 
amy," whom M. Berty supposed to have been Eustache 


du Bellay, Bishop of Paris. De TOrme's enemies had 
charged him with amassing a huge fortune in the Royal 
service. Indeed, French artists at the Court seem to 
have been heartily jealous of each other. BuUant, who 
appears to have been an honest sort of man, was prob- 
ably on friendly terms with De TOrme, but the 
younger school of artists disliked him, as being 
pompous and overbearing. Bernard Palissy gibed at 
him as one who *^ se faisaint quasi appeler le Dieu des 
masons ou des architectes, et d'autant qu'il possedait 
vint mil en benefices, et qu'il se s^avoit bien accomoder 
a la Cour." Ronsard was his inveterate enemy. He 
called De I'Orme "La Truelle croisee," and lost no 
opportunity of bringing the architect into ridicule and 
undermining his position at Court. With characteristic 
malignity, Ronsard wrote a rhyming letter to Charles 
IX., saying that he had seen too many masons at work 
on their monkey tricks at the Tuileries. In those days 
poets did not mince matters, and Ronsard's efforts 
were as successful as Ben Jonson's abuse of Inigo Jones 
at the Court of James I. De TOrme was no match for 
the mischievous ingenuity of the poet : it was bludgeon 
ag^nst rapier. Ronsard was young and fashionable, 
and De TOrme — old and unpopular, clumsy of speech, 
strong only in his knowledge and force of character 
— had no chance against the brilliant sword-play of 
the Court poet. As to the direct accusations brought 
against him, De TOrme replied that so far from 
having made too much money, he had not been paid 
for half his work, and had been at personal charges 
which had never been made good to him. As to the 



revenues derived from his abbeys, these only amounted 
to 6000 livres a year, not 20,000 as was stated by his 
enemies. The only evidence by which these statements 
can be checked is that of his will, dated 21st December 
1569, from which it appears that he died possessed 
of considerable means, which he bequeathed to his two 
natural children, his two sisters, a nephew, and five 

Yet unintentionally his enemies gave De TOrme the 
opportunity to which he owes his permanent reputation. 
Had he continued in prosperity till his death he could 
hardly have written his treatise on architecture, the 
work of his life by which he retains his place in history. 
There are architects who have maintained their fame 
on the merits of their buildings, but their number 
is small, whereas Alberti, Serlio, Palladio, Vignola, 
Scamozzi, Perrault, the Blondels, Colin Campbell, 
Percier and Fontaine, — I take the names at random — 
will always be familiar names, at least to architects. 
So it was with De TOrme. Lescot is a merely shadowy 
person. Of BuUant, whom I believe to have been the 
best of the French sixteenth- century architects, we 
know little but what we can learn from his rare build- 
ings and his two short treatises {Recueil de rHorlogio- 
graphic y 1561, and Reigk Ginirale JC Architecturt^ 
1564); but De rOrme has come to be generally, 
though I think erroneously, regarded as the repre- 
sentative French architect of the sixteenth century, 
and it is mainly on the strength of his book. It is 
indeed a most voluminous and remarkable work. The 
first edition appeared in 1567, under the title of he 


Premier Tome de V Architecture de Philibert de fOrme^ 
conseiller et aumonier ordinaire du Roy et abbi de S. 
Serge les Angiers ; a second edition appeared in 1 626. 
This includes the Nouvelks Inventions^ which are num- 
bered as Books 10 and 1 1 of the Premier Tome^ and 
form a grand total of 698 large folio pages ; ^ and this, 
in De TOrme's intention, was to form only the first 
volume of a vast encyclopaedia covering the whole field 
of architecture. Moreover, he tells us himself^ that he 
contemplated a book on building plant and machinery, 
a book on "divine proportions" dealing with the 
proper seasons and combinations of the stars for laying 
foundation-stones, and a book on harbour building ; 
and in his third book he says that were it not for his 
time being taken up by great affairs and the Queen's 
Palace, he would . have edited Euclid and Vltruvius 
together, the latter in particular being "fort indigeste 
et confuse."* He offers the work as the result of 
more than thirty -five years' experience. He has 
noticed the folly of people who instead of consulting an 
architect go to a carpenter, or painter, or notary, and 
spend the rest of their time in finding out their mistake ; 
whereas the right thing to do is to call in your architect, 
give him a free hand, and not insist on his copying old 
buildings. The architect on his part is to be learned 
in mathematics, philosophy, and history, and is to be a 

^ Ware's huge Encyclopaedia of Arckitecturt^ which is much lets closely printed, 
has only fifty pages more. 

* P. 47, edition of 1626. 

' In the Introduction to his Fifth Book, De TOrme gives explanations of the 
obscurity of Vitruvius ; either somebody had pur^sely confused the text, in order 
to keep the art of building a mystery, or the text was corrupt, or Vitruvius had 
himself collected his notes from other authors, and had not been able to put them 
into shape. 


staid, sensible, temperate man of afFairs ; the point is one 

From CEuvres de Philibert de POrme, Chaudi^e. 

on which De TOrme constantly insists, for the architect 


will require tact, and is to be careful in the selection of 
his clients, preferring kings, princes, noblemen, prelates, 
and the like. If trouble occurs in his work, he must 
possess his soul in patience ; the last thing in the world 
that De TOrme ever dreamt of doing, for he protests 
that had it not been for the interference of his patrons, 
his work would have been even more excellent than 
it was, and that no man had ever suffered so much 
from envy and intrigues as he had himself. As to the 
architect, he returns again to his qualifications in a not- 
able passage, p. 14 : *^ U vaudrait trop mieux a Tarchi- 
tecte, selon mes advis, faillir aux ornements des colonnes, 
aux mesures et fassades (ou tous qui font profession de 
bastir s'estudient le plus), qu'en les belles reigles de 
nature, qui concernent la comodite, Tusage, et profit 
des habitans, et non la decoration, beaute ou enrichisse- 
ment des logis, faites seulement pour la contentement 
des yeux sans apporter aucun fruict a la sante et vie 
des hommes." These words are downright enough for 
the most hardened Philistine. It would be perhaps 
unkind to hint that De TOrme had one eye on future 
clients, for though that was a subsidiary motive of his 
treatise, there can be no doubt that his instincts were 
intensely practical, so much so indeed that the artist in 
him was too often starved and obliterated in a merely 
mechanical technique. De I'Orme's was a complex 
nature, and this and his very discursive method make 
it diflScult to fix his principles. For instance, having 
made a bold stand for the architect, a little further on 
he considers it expedient to hedge, and says that indeed 
it is only right that noble lords should do what they 


like aiid Tfe served as they wish at their good pleasure ; 
the only people they are really to guard against are the 
impostors, people who know nothing of architecture, 
but can trick up a drawing ; why, even painters, 
carpenters, and image-makers call themselves architects ! 
All these things, he insists, with much volume and 
vehemence, are a sham ; the architect is the man, 
the only true friend of the noble lord. In this 
connection, and a propos of the excellent marbles 
to be got from the quarries of his own Abbey of 
S. Serge les Angiers, he refers to the "mobilite de 
Tesprit mercuriale des Fran^ais," which leads them to 
employ foreign artists and foreign materials, when 
there are as good men in France as anywhere else, and 
the best building stones in the world. 

The rest of the first book is taken up with excellent 
notes on building materials. Book 2 deals with 
foundations in a very practical manner ; but the human 
interest lies in the queer fragments of speculation 
scattered about in his pages. P. 32 is a good 
instance. He is talking about the square, and after 
quoting Marsilio Ficinio on the mystical character of 
the Cross among the early Egyptians, he says that after 
God had created " la machine de Tuniverse sous une 
forme ronde et spherique," He divided its circumfer- 
ence into four equal parts by means of intersecting lines 
at right angles, and at the centre point of intersection 
He placed the earth. In Books 4 and 5, De TOrme 
introduces his readers to the setting out of masonry. 
His explanation and diagrams are most difficult to 
follow, and do not always work out. De TOrme 


himself admits that the problems require " grand rompe- 
ment de teste a les excogiter et monstrer/' and as an 
exponent of an intricate subject De TOrme leaves much 
to be desired. At the same time, his was the first 
attempt to deal systematically with stereotomy, and to 
make generally known what was jealously guarded by 
the masons as a trade secret. De FOrme himself tells 
us that, in his youth, workmen took much trouble to 
understand the setting out of the famous " Vis Saint 
Gilles " — that is, a newel staircase with a cylindrical vault 
running with the stairs — and highly esteemed any one 
who mastered it. He admits frankly that in his time 
there were many in France who did understand this 
setting out of winding masonry. He himself had done 
it at Fontainebleau and Anet and many other places ; 
and he gives an interesting and characteristic criticism 
on the newel stairs in the Belvedere of the Vatican. 
This staircase he describes as a winding ascent of brick 
without steps, carried on a barrel vault with a circular 
well in the centre, with columns round the well-hole. 
The work, he says, was " fort belle et bien faite " ; but 
he adds that if the architect had known his business 
(the architect, by the way, was Bramante) he would 
have made all the lines follow the ascending curves ; 
whereas, being unequal to the setting-out, he had made 
all the caps and bases square — that is, horizontal. 
Moreover, his vaults should have been made in dressed 
stone, not merely in brick. The criticism is interesting, 
as showing the different tendencies of the Frenchman 
and the Italian. No technical difficulties ever daimted 
the Frenchman, in fact he gloried in their opportunity. 


whereas the Italian was perfectly satisfied if, somehow 
or other, he " got there/* 

De rOrme insists that the architect must have good 
master-masons, such as he had trained himself from 
their youth up, showing them everything, and in all 
cases *Mes advertissant et enseignant amicablement/* 
This had been his habitual practice, and was the duty 
of all good architects ; but in order to do so architects 
must themselves master geometry and the art of setting 
out of masonry, for as for leaving it to the masons, one 
might as well expect the waggon to drag its own oxen, 
*Ma charette conduict les bceufs/* It is in connection 
with this that he gives an explanation of the tailpiece 
to the Preface to Book 3. The architect is shown 
issuing from a cave, denoting that he proceeds to his 
work after long study. He holds up his skirts to show 
that he is fervent in business, with the other hand he 
holds his compasses to show that he proceeds by rule 
"et avec une meure deliberation'* (a favourite point 
with De rOrme). The twined snake denotes his 
learning and wiliness, the calthrops at his feet the 
snares that beset him — envy, hatred, and malice, and 
all uncharitableness. The head of Mercury shows that 
the architect is learned in science and can speak of his 
art. The palm is the emblem of his glory, and the 
caduceus shows that his fame shall go out into all 
lands. De TOrme loved these symbols, and in the 
conclusion of his Premier Tome he fairly let himself 
go with his well-known allegories of the good and the 
bad architect (pp. 329-341). 

Books 5, 6, 7, and 8 are devoted to the con- 



sideration of the orders in all their details. De TOrme 
says that he took his own measurements of the antique 
in Rome, and it is evident from his text and illus- 
trations that he had accumulated a great amount of 
materials during his studies in Rome ; and further, that 
he used his own judgment freely in their interpreta- 
tion. Palladio*s duattro Libri delV Architettura (1570) 
was not published till the year of De TOrme's death, 
and the orders, as given by Alberti, were very clumsily 
executed. It seems doubtful if De TOrme was 
acquainted with the various sixteenth-century editions 
of Vitruvius, and though he pays a generous tribute to 
the services rendered by Serlio to French art,^ he seems, 
with good reason, to have been sceptical as to the 
accuracy of his measurements. In any case, De TOrme 
went into the whole subject of the Orders with a 
minuteness of personal study such as no Frenchman 
had attempted before his time.^ Into this disquisition 
on the Orders it is not necessary to follow him ; but it 
is characteristic of the man that when dealing with the 
Ionic Order he says that he shall not draw on the 
antique or Vitruvius for its proportion, but shall follow 
"I'Ordre des proportions que j'ay trouve en I'Ecriture 
Sainte, et les dimensions et mesures du corps humain." 

^ pp. 202 et seq, De l'Orme*s words are : ** C'est lui qui a donn6 le premier 
aux Fran9ait, par sea livret et desseingt, la cognoittance des Edifices antiques, et de 
plusieurs fort belles inventions, ^tant homme de bien ainsi que je Tay cognu, et de 
fort bonne Ime," etc. 

^ Fr^art, the well-known author of the ParaJIels^ is most contemptuous of De 
rOrme. "The good man** (Evelyn's translation, p. 82), "though very studious, 
and a lover of the antique architecture, had yet a modern genius, which made him 
look upon these excellent things of Rome, as it were, with Gothique eyes " ; and 
again : " This makes me judge that the good man was no great designer, which is a 
very ordinary defect among those of his profession.** This comes well from Friart 
Sieur de Chambray, who was a virtuoso and not an architect at all. 


He has, he says, followed the proportion given in the 
Old Testament, as he will more fully declare in the 
second part of his architecture treating of Divine 
Proportion. The account is, in consequence, hopelessly 
obscure, and is not made clearer by some of the plates 
being upside down. The Orders are followed by a 
book on chimneys, describing various means of pre- 
venting smoky chimneys, with designs for chimney- 
pieces much in the Fontainebleau manner. Then come 
the two books of Nouvelks Inventions^ winding up with 
the conclusion and the description of the good and the 
bad architect. 

These allegories are a fit conclusion to this most 
curious work. That De FOrme was thoroughly in 
earnest is evident in every page, but that he had un- 
commonly little sense of humour is also evident. That 
** meure deliberation," to which he attached so much 
value, is also conspicuously absent, for the book is a 
vast farrago of genuine learning and enthusiasm for his 
art, of moral declamation, of personal complaint, and of 
something not far removed from personal advertisement. 
Then there are these suggestions of a half-mediaeval 
outlook on nature and the supernatural : thus the stars 
must be in a certain conjunction when the first stone is 
laid ; some stones suffer from the light of the moon, and 
so on, and there is that mysterious theory of divine pro- 
portion. Moreover, his style is extraordinarily prolix, 
and not redeemed by any happiness of phrase,^ in spite 

^ Menander is described u " Grand dichiflreur des superflait^s,*" a bald translation 
of Pliny's Diltgenttuimus Luxuriae Interpret, Where De TOrme's description of 
Pliny as ** Secretaire et greffier da conseil priv6 de dame nature '* comes from I do 
not know, but I doubt if it is his own. 


of curious little mar^nal notes, such as "chose fort 

From (Euvrtt de Pkilibert de FOrme, Chaudiire. 

digne de noter ** ; '* Beau discours sur les diversites des 


sables/* and so on. Yet, in spite of all, De TOrme's 
personalty emerges as that of a man of strong if rather 
arrogant character, conscious of unusual abilities, con- 
scious also that he had lost touch with his contempo- 
raries, and that his devotion to his art must be its own 
reward. It is rather a melancholy picture, and one of 
the caprices of fortune, that, as in the case of Inigo 
Jones and Wren, the last days of this distinguished 
architect should have been darkened by contumely and 

Of his actual position in the list of the great French 
architects it is possible to speak with some historical 
assurance. For a time he was the leading architect in 
France, but he was passed by Lescot ; and, as I have 
suggested above, a critical study of the work of the 
three men leads to the conclusion that Jean Bullant 
was the greatest architect of the three. Bullant was a 
man of bold imagination and fine artistic sense. He 
had the faculty of playing with the big planes of 
building, which seems to have been denied to his 
colleagues. While De TOrme was immersed in his 
details, and Lescot was content with dull repetition of 
the Orders, Bullant was making experiments in abstract 
form-composition which left a permanent influence on 
French architecture, and led up to the great French 
classical design of the seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries. An entirely erroneous impression has been 
created by writers who treat De TOrme's architecture 
as the last word of the French Renaissance, and what 
came after it as decadence. This is much as if one 
were to treat the Jacobean builders as the representatives 


of the Renaissance in England, and Inigo Jones and 
Wren as degenerates. As a matter of fact, there 
is some truth in Freart*s sneers at De TOrme's 
*' Gothic " instincts. The ultimate aesthetic possibilities 
of classical architecture were dimly seen by BuUant 
only, among his contemporaries, and were not fully 
realised in France till fifty years after De TOrme was 
dead. It is possible to trace a continuous progress 
from the first half-childish efforts at Italianism in 
France at the end of the fifteenth century to the 
matured mastery of classical design which was reached 
by the French architects of Louis Quatorze, and there 
is not the least doubt that the architects of that period 
were justified by their own attainments in the views 
they held of the architecture of De I'Orme. In this 
progression De I'Orme belongs to the earlier stages. 
He introduced a mechanism of detail far more complete 
and correct than any possessed by his predecessors. 
He effectually limited the master - masons to the 
narrower province of building, and laid down the lines 
of a science of building as opposed to rule-of-thumb 
work. I think one may believe his own account that 
he did much to educate the workmen of his time ; 
and there can be no doubt that he left the technical 
ability of the building trades at a higher level than 
he found them. But an analysis of his own design 
suggests that though he had mastered the details of 
classical architecture, he had not entirely grasped its 
spirit. The multiplicity of his details, the intricacy of 
his design, the feeling for the picturesque rather than 
for mass and proportion, breadth of ' effect, and 



simplicity of treatment, show that he was still, perhaps 
unknown to himself, under the spell of late Gothic. 
The fine architectural instinct of the French was not to 
be defceived in the matter, and they followed the lead 
of Bullant in preference to that of De TOrme. The 
last word of the French Renaissance was not spoken in 
the sixteenth century, but in the seventeenth or 
eighteenth ; possibly it has even yet to be heard. 

De rOrme can hardly be said to have been an 
architect of genius. He was a learned and very capable 
artist, but I think he holds his place in history less 
by his art than by his self-revelation as a turbulent and 
intensely human personality. 

From De TOrme, (Euvres, 


FoNTAiNEBLEAU may be said to be the cradle of modern 
French art. It was the scene of the last struggle 
between the master-mason of mediaeval building and 
the modern architect. It was here that the Italian 
Renaissance won its final victory in France and routed 
once and for all the crabbed austerities of the 
Primitives. The palace, moreover, bears marks of 
the vicissitudes of a strong and enduring tradition — 
a tradition which steadily advanced until it was swept 
away in the cataclysm of the French Revolution. Few 
buildings in France, with all its wealth of architecture, 
are more convincingly human than the palace of 
Fontainebleau. In spite of the damage done by 
Louis XIV. and Louis XV., it has maintained its 
life. It has survived the tedious dulness of the art 
of Napolean I. Even the restorations of Louis- 
Philippe and Napolean III. have not destroyed its 
individuality, and the building remains to this day a 
magnificent historical monument, convincing evidence 
of the splendid vitality of French genius. 

In 1528 Francis I. had a comprehensive report 
prepared of a scheme for rebuilding Fontainebleau, and 
this report or specification, known as the "Devis de 



1528,"^ still exists. The first idea was to construct a 
new palace at some little distance from the existing 
castle. This was carried out (it has since been partly 
destroyed and rebuilt), and it then occurred to the 
King that it was desirable to connect his new buildings 
with the old. Certain difficulties as to land were 
overcome, and the King is said to have sent to Italy 
for his architect. In 1532 Sebastian Serlio, of Bologna, 
published the first of his books on architecture, and 
completed the series in 1540. His treatise was at once 
accepted as a standard work (in fact, the first French 
edition of it appeared at Paris only five years later), 
and the story is that Francis sent him a present of 300 
livres in gold, and an invitation to Fontainebleau to 
superintend his buildings. Serlio is said to have 
accepted the invitation, settled at Fontainebleau, and 
built the gallery of Francis I. Such is the legend, and 
it is repeated by M. Rodolphe Pfnor, the author of a 
fine illustrated monograph (1863) and of an excellent, 
if somewhat inaccurate, guidebook to the palace. Serlio 
did indisputably come to Fontainebleau, and was 
appointed architect to the King in December 1541,^ 
but his actual share in the building operations of the 
palace is obscure. Indeed, M. Dimier' considers that 
Serlio had no share in them at all. The documentary 
evidence is uncertain, and a comparative and critical 

' See Laborde, Comptes^ vol. i. pp. 25-45, ana. 1528. The contract with Gillet 
le Breton, ^ ma(on, tailleur de pierre, demeurant k Paris," is given on pp. 45-50. 

2 Laborde, vol, i. pp. 171-172. 

' I must expreti my obligations to M. Dimier's admirable book, a work of great 
learning and ability, and authoritative on the painting and sculpture of this period. 
M. Dimier is less convincing in regard to architecture, and some of his conclusions 
are not borne out by the building. His views on the relations of architecture to the 
decorative arts are probably peculiar to himself. 


< u 

2 2 



study of the building itself affords almost the only clue 
available. I must add, by the way, that few buildings 
are more difficult to decipher than Fontainebleau ; the 
place is so attractive that succeeding monarchs have 
cut it and carved it to their varying tastes, and 
when the architects of the last century were at a loss 
for a motive, they seem to have put up the Salamander 
of Francis L, or the crescents of Diane de Poitiers, or the 
arrow and S of Gabrielle d'Estrees. Napoleon I, at 
least had his own thunderbolt, which he peppered 
about the building ; and there is no mistaking the 
wiry ornament of his architecture ; but the work of 
Louis-Philippe and Napoleon III. induces a sort of 
paralysis in one's critical faculties, and the page becomes 
illegible. French archaeological restorations are even 
worse than those of our Gothic revivalists. The 
French mind is so logical that it is satisfied with 
nothing short of a clean sweep and complete re- 

It is evident that if Francis I. invited Serlio to 
Fontainebleau after the publication of his book, Serlio 
can have had nothing to do with the "Devis** of 
1528, that is, with Francis's buildings begun in 
1528, and continued in the succeeding years, or with 
the gallery of Francis I., as II Rosso and his men 
were at work on the decoration of this from 1533 
onwards. If, in fact, it was in consequence of Jiis book 
that Serlio was summoned to Fontainebleau, the earliest 
work that he can have undertaken there is the Salle 
de Bal, or Salle des Fetes, generally known as the 
Galerie de Henri II. The famous Egyptian doorway 



in the earlier part of Francis's building, next to the 
Tour de THorloge, could not have been by Serlio unless 


it was a later insertion, that is, unless the Egyptian 
caryatides were built into an older door, as seems not 


From a Drawing by Reginald Blumficld. 


improbable. The figures are queer, archaic-looking 
creatiireSy learned in their way, and unusual at so early 
a date. Serlio is said to have travelled in the East, and 
to have produced these curious details as the result. 
Whether this is so or not, the figures are different 
in treatment to the amorini above, tumbling about 
under an enormous helmet. The doorway in the 
Cour Ovale, with a bust of Francis I. in the pediment, 
is certainly Italian of a sort, but this too seems to me 
earlier than the date of Serlio's work. Serlio was a 
pupil of Baldassare Peruzzi, and it is not probable 
that he would have been responsible for any such 
immature detail. Both this and the figures over the 
Egyptian doorway were probably by Italians intro- 
duced by Francis in the earlier years of his reign, or 
possibly survivors of that earlier importation due to 
Charles VIIL, after his Italian expedition of 1495. 
In 1498 Charles VIII. brought back with him from 
Italy four "ouvriers du batiment," three sculptors, 
two jewellers, and a gardener. Among the " ouvriers 
du batiment" were Fra Giocondo and U Boccador, 
the architect of the old Hotel de Ville of Paris in 
1532.^ Gaillon was b^un about 1501, and the earlier 
and very interesting school of Tours sprang up, under 
purely Italian influence. To this school is to be attri- 
buted most of the earlier Italian Renaissance work in 

^ Dimier, Vte du Primatice^ pp. 17, 80. Among the D^penies secrket de Fraxifois I. 
there is an entry, No. 69, 1531, of pajrment of 900 livret to Dommicque de 
Courtonne (II Boccador) for wood models of the towns and castles of Tournai, Ardres, 
and Chambord, also of bridges and mills made during the previous fifteen years. The 
names of Fra Giocondo, II Boccador, Bernardino de Brescia, Paganino, and others 
occur in a patent of payment of 1498. Paganino is found again at Gaillon after 
1501, and was employed on the tomb of Charles VIII. He is the ** Master 
Pageny " of the monument of Henry VII. at Westminster. 


France, more particularly the ornament of Gaillon, 
and the details of most of the chateaux of the Loire 
valley. But meanwhile the Renaissance in Italy had 
been advancing swiftly ; new schools had arisen, new 
ideas had developed. In architecture more particularly 
the architect had emerged in that full equipment of 
scholarship which is a rock of offence to certain of 
his successors of to-day. The earlier Italian manner 
had become old-fashioned, even in France, and 
when Francis I. seriously set to work to decorate 
his palaces, new men had to be brought in from 
Italy,^ and thus began what is somewhat inaccur- 
ately called the school of Fontainebleau, the true 
source from which modern French art has sprung. 

These men, however, with the exceptions named 
above, were all decorators, and it is certain that all 
Francis's earlier work at Fontainebleau was carried out 
by French masons, such little carving as there is being 
left to Italian workmen. The first introduction of the 
Renaissance into France followed much the same lines 
as it did in England. Carvers and ornamentalists 
straggled over first, and it was not till the taste became 
set that the bigger men thought it worth their while to 
leave Italy. It is only in the flat pilasters and their 
capitals, as for instance those that adorn the Tour de 
I'Horloge, that the hand of the Italian workman is 
evident, and a blundering attempt at Roman mould- 

^ Jerome della Robbta, who made the plaques for the old Ch&teau de Madrid, 
came in 1527; Rustici and Naldini, bronze>workeri, in 1528 ; Pellegrino about the 
same time ; and II Rosso in 153 1. In an appendix at the end of this book will be 
found a list of the Italians employed at Fontainebleau, drawn from the Comptes des 


ings was made in the rudimentary entablatiires subse- 
quently copied in other parts of the building ; that is 
to say, the masons and the builders were Frenchmen, 
but the carved ornament, such as it was, was by 
Italians. The result, mutatis tnutandiSy was the same as 
in England; that is to say, the French builders followed 
their own tradition, they piled up picturesque masses of 
buildings with steep roofs, broken outlines, and tower- 
ing chimneys ; their manner of design was a sort of 
regularised Gothic — far away, it is true, from the stern 
severity of the mediaeval castle, but scarcely closer than 
the latter to the architecture of Sanmichele or Peruzzi. 
A Renaissance capital and pilaster here and there did 
not alter the type, any more than the medallions of the 
Roman Emperors in Hampton Court or the Chateau 
de Madrid made these into Classical buildings ; and it 
was not till the new man of the Renaissance appeared 
upon the scene, the architect proper, who had studied 
his art as an art, and who worked by thought and 
knowledge rather than by inherited instinct, that a real 
and organic change occurred in the architectiu-e of 
France. It does not appear that Francis I. had any 
such architect in his service till towards the end of his 
reign. He approached architecture through painting 
and sculpture, probably conceived of it only as a 
necessary background and occasion for those arts, and 
after he had bought his experience in his favourite arts 
it occiu-red to him that an experiment in architecture 
would be interesting, and that he could not do better 
than entrust it to Serlio, the latest authority on the 
subject. Meanwhile he had induced U Rosso of 


Florence (Maitre le Roux, the red-haired painter) to 
come to Fontainebleau (according to Vasari, II Rosso 
came of his own accord), and he arrived there in 1531, 
with a company of painters and sculptors, mostly 
Florentines. To these he added certain Italians already 
at work in France. M. Pfnor quotes the names and 
payment of certain of these artists as given in the 
" book of charges of the Sieur Babou de la Bourdai- 
siere," superintendent of the buildings of Fontainebleau, 
I535"44i viz.— 

1533-44, Barthelemy da Miniato, peintre Florentin, 

stucs, a 20 livres par mois. 
1534-35, Laurens Regnauldin (or Naldini), stucs, id.^ 

a 20 livres par mois. 
1534-36, Claude du Val, stucs, id.^ 10 livres par mois. 
1534-35, Francisque Pellegrin, stucs, id.y 20 livres par 

1535-36, Badouin, stucs, id.^ 20 livres par mois. 
1535-36, Andre Seron, stucs, iV/., 20 livres par mois. 
1535-36, Symon le Roy, imager, stucs, 20 livres par 

1535-36, Jean Anthoine (or Jeande Majoricy), peintre, 

stucs, 20 livres par mois. 
1535, Charles Dorigny, peintre, 20 livres par mois. 
1535, Josse Fouquet, Flamand, peintre, 20 livres par 


1 The above list is quoted by M. Pfnor as ** absolument authentique." It does 
not tally, however, with the lists given in the Comptes des Bitimetits (Laborde, vol. i. 
pp. 88>io8 and 132-137). It omits such important men as Jerome de la Robbia and 
Just le Just. Moreover, there is no reason why Dorigny should be selected in pre- 
ference to any other of the dozen or more French artists whose names are given in 
the Comptes as having worked at Fontainebleau at the same time, or Josse Fouquet, 
who was a Fleming. 


At the end of the list appears the name of " Maitre 
Roux de Roux, conducteur desdits ouvrages de stucs 
et peintures dudit lieu," with a salary of fifty livres a 
month, in addition to which II Rosso had a house at 
Paris, quarters at Fontainebleau, a canonry of the 
Sainte Chapelle, and various benefices thrown in. 
" Altogether," says Vasari, " he lived like a nobleman." 
II Rosso worked at Fontainebleau till his death in 
1 54 1, when he poisoned himself in an agony of 
remorse for having falsely accused Pellegrino of 
robbery. During this period II Rosso was designer- 
in-chief to the Court ; he painted eight large pictures 
for the Porte Doree leading to the causeway between the 
lake and the lower garden, and decorated the Gallery 
of Francis I. with paintings and stucco ornaments. 
This gallery, which runs from the Cour du Cheval 
Blanc to the Pavilion de St. Louis, is 64 metres in 
length by 5.85 in width, and about the same in height. 
It is panelled in walnut, richly carved, for a height of 
2.25. The present panelling is a copy of the old, which 
was carved by an Italian, Scibec of Carpi. Above this 
panelling the walls are covered with paintings of 
allegorical and classical subjects, framed in cartouches 
freely decorated with swags, amorini, and figures. It 
is diflicult to form any opinion as to the value of II 
Rosso's painting, as hardly any of his original work is 
leiFt. Van Loo repainted the whole of the south side 
for Louis XV. in a deplorable manner, and the re- 
mjdnder were restored by M. Alaux in 1862. M. 
Alaux was also responsible for the atrocious painting of 
the Nymph of Fontainebleau (the fourth on the right 


opposite the windows). In so far as one can judge 
from the work that remains, II Rosso was a competent 
if somewhat hard and mannered draughtsman, but his 
colour was uninteresting, in fact hardly exists. His work 
at Fontainebleau gives a general impression of dirty 
pinkish brown relieved by grey, and there is nothing 
to recall the charm of his flesh painting, which Vasari 
particularly commends. The stucco ornamentation, how- 
ever, shows an extraordinary accomplishment. These 
Florentines seem to have reeled off amorini and fruit and 
flowers as easily as a modern architectural carver would 
turn out his yards of ** egg and dart." There is no 
hesitation about the work, no shirking of the difficulties 
of the figure, no ignorant failure to express the idea ; 
the figures are free and ingenious, well designed and 
modelled, with all that happy vitality of expression that 
one finds in mature Florentine sculpture. The actual 
workmanship seems to me, for its purpose, unsur- 
passable. No finer example could be found of the 
limits and possibilities of stucco modelling, and of its 
use on a monumental scale ; and comparison of an 
authentic example of Italian stucco, such as this, with 
the plaster work of the same date in England, makes it 
nearly certain that the stories of travelling companies of 
Italian plasterers at work in England are nothing but 
fables. With the exception of the work at Nonesuch, of 
which we know only by repute, practically no sixteenth- 
century stucco work was ever executed in England by a 
first-rate Italian stuccatore. These Florentines started 
a tradition of plaster work in France that has lasted to 
this day, and such as we never had in England. Vasari 

Wl^'/ .:-^^'<^V-^ V^:Vr ^ 

'-^ t ^* 



From a Drawing by Reginald Blom field. 




From a Drawing by Reginald Blomfield. 


says that Luca Penni came to England, probably on 
the death of Francis I., when there was a general 
break-up of the Italian immigration of 153040; but 
I doubt if any trace of Pennies influence is to be found 
in England. According to Mr. Cust, I do not know 
on what authority, the Penni who came to England 
was not Luca, but Bartolommeo ; but nothing is known 
of what he did in England. It is said that a certain 
" Luca Romano " came to England, and was at work 
in this country on stucco as late as 1586. I fancy that 
this " Luca Romano " may have been Luca Penni, who 
was a Roman who engraved after Primaticcio, but is 
not known to have worked in stucco, and a comparison 
of the great frieze in Hardwicke Hall with the Italian 
work at Fontainebleau leaves little doubt that, whatever 
influence the Italians of Henry VI 11. may have had at 
the time, it had disappeared by the middle of the 
sixteenth century. As a general scheme of decoration, 
the value of II Rosso*s combination of stucco and 
painting is another question. To English taste, trained 
on simpler methods, it narrowly escapes vulgarity, and 
there is something almost nauseating in this astounding 
and uncontrolled exuberance of ornament. Yet the 
whole gallery has been so much scraped and cleaned 
and gilt and over-painted, that a certain garishness of 
effect may be only the result of restorations, and had 
the work of II Rosso been left to mellow with time, 
the eflfect of the whole might have justified itself. 

M. Pfnor gives a story that when Primaticcio suc- 
ceeded II Rosso at Fontainebleau in 1 541, he destroyed 
a great deal of the latter's work, and not daring to 


remove his painting in the gallery of Francis I., he 
covered as much of it as he could with stucco orna- 
ment. That II Rosso and Primaticcio were rivals 
is probable ; and Primaticcio, a highly successful 
adventurer, would not have been deterred by any 
scruples from wiping out his rival's work, especially 
as it was in a manner with which he was out of 
sympathy. II Rosso was a Florentine, a draughts- 
man rather than a colourist, and an artist who, 
like his master Michael Angelo, found his pleasure in 
the intellectual rather than in the sensuous side of 
art. Primaticcio had worked for Giulio Romano at 
Mantua.^ Some of his charm he undoubtedly learnt 
from Correggio, but of all artists, in spite of Sir Joshua 
Reynolds's dictum, he seems to me to have been least 
under the influence of Michael Angelo. Judging by 
his own work, it is probable that Primaticcio actually 
disliked II Rosso's manner, and it is certain that he was 
not the man to stand on ceremony in these matters. 
He succeeded in outwitting Cellini, and his treatment 
of the design of the Salles des Fetes shows his disregard 
for any art but his own. At the same time it is im- 
probable that Francis would have allowed interference 
with the work of II Rosso, an artist for whom he had 
the highest regard ; and in the second place, the differ- 
ence of handiwork can be detected in the stucco of the 
gallery. The modelling is everywhere superior to any 

^ Primaticcio's work in the Palazzo del T6, and more particularly in the Corte- 
Reale, is far superior to anything by Giulio Romano in Mantua. The atucchi of 
the great hall, the Sala di Giuramento, and the Sala delle Stucchi of the Corte- 
Reale have all the vigour and audacity of hit work at Fontainebleau. These splendid 
ruins are in the dismantled part of the castle, and were rapidly perishing in 1904. 

v>U*4U^ t- */' 

C\ ' 


From a Drawing by Reginalil Blomfield. 


stucco work by Primaticcio, and I could find no trace 
anywhere of Primaticcio's peculiar mannerisms — ^the 
long slender limbs and disprof>ortionate height, and 
lastly the curious but fascinating expression that one 
finds in Primaticcio's figures, as, for instance, on the 
Grand Escalier du Souverain of Fontainebleau, and 
in certain of his drawings at the Louvre. Unless 
there is documentary evidence to prove it, and it 
seems there is none, M. Pfnor's story is not borne out 
by the facts. 

The story, however, represents a general position 
that one need not hesitate to accept. Primaticcio may 
not have hidden II Rosso's pictures, but he superseded 
his influence in France. II Rosso and his men were 
Florentines, Primaticcio was a Bolognese, and the 
artists with whom he surroimded himself, Fantuzzi, 
Caccianemici, Bagnacavallo, Serlio even, were all of 
Bologna. But this was not all. In Primaticcio's work 
one finds something more than the change from the 
school of Florence to that of Bologna. A new motive 
appears, of which various explanations are given. The 
derivation of genius is always an uncertain afl^air, and 
must depend quite as much on personal judgment and 
the study of handiwork as on the recorded facts of 
history. In the case of a designer of the finesse 
and subtlety of Primaticcio, it is peculiarly difficult. 
There seems to be an element in his work not to be 
accounted for by the influence of his early masters, 
a psychological quality difficult to define except by 
negatives. This element was something new, and was, 
I think, the result of the reaction of his French 


surroundings on Primaticcio himself, the influence of 
the French genius> asserting itself in a domain of art 
that it was at length beginning to master as its own. 

When Primaticcio succeeded to the control of the 
King's work, twenty-five years had elapsed since the 
battle of Marignano, time enough for French artists to 
learn to walk by themselves. Jean Goujon and Germain 
Pilon press close on the heels of Primaticcio, and 
Philibert de I'Orme was able to take up a position as 
architect such as had never been allowed to Serlio. 
Moreover, there was a peculiarity in Primaticcio him- 
self that helped this emancipation. In his early days 
he showed great activity in his multifarious works, 
but he may be said to have " arrived " pretty early in 
life. He was only twenty-seven when he succeeded 
II Rosso at the Court of France, and his reputation was 
made before that date, for while II Rosso was engaged 
in the Galerie of Francis I., Primaticcio was employed 
to paint the frescoes, with stucco ornaments and 
borders, for the walls of the Gallery of Ulysses, with 
the medallions for the panels of its ceiling. The whole 
of this work was destroyed by Louis XV., and we have 
to take its merits on faith from Vasari, Algarotti, and 
other writers. But the sum total of his authenticated 
work is inconsiderable. M. Dimier, indeed, as the 
result of much research, claims a vast quantity of 
work for Primaticcio in all the arts. But the actually 
proved number of works by this artist is small. 
There remain many drawings scattered about which 
are attributed to him — the paintings of the Salle 
de Bal, the stucco of the Escalier du Souverain, and 


some rare pictures. Altogether there is not much to 
show for a man who for tWrty years, and under four 
successive kings, controlled the artistic work of one of 
the most sumptuous Courts in Europe. The proba- 
bility is that Primaticcio found it easier to direct and 
superintend others than to do the work himself. He 
was largely dependent on the work of his staff. By 
the middle of the sixteenth century he had become a 
great personage at the French Court, and it would not 
consist with the dignity of an artist who was vakt de 
chambre to the King, and Abbot of St. Martin of 
Troyes, to dangle his legs on a scaffolding, or potter 
about in a plasterer's blouse. It is probable that much 
was left to his men ; and, as a matter of fact, the great 
decorative paintings of the Galerie of Henry II. were 
not executed by Primaticcio, but by Niccolo dell* Abbate, 
from his designs. The result of this delegation would 
be, and indeed was, that his staff had to be supplemented 
by French artists, as the Italians disappeared, and these 
men soon learnt to act on their own initiative. The 
Italian influence gradually waned, and native artists 
were established in the full mastery of their art before 
Primaticcio died in 1570. 

That Primaticcio was an artist of fine quality is 
proved by the examples I have mentioned, and not 
least of all by certain beautiful drawings of his in the 
Louvre and elsewhere ; but he gives the impression of 
having degenerated into an astute and not too scrupulous 
entrepreneur. He had the knack of finding out the 
right men for his purpose. He came across Vignola 
at Rome, and employed him for his casts from the 


antique both in Rome and at Fontainebleau. But 
Vignola was too unaccommodating and too fond of 
his country to stay in France, and was succeeded by 
Serlio. The curious thing is that, though Serlio was 
appointed architect of the king's buildings at Fontaine- 
bleau, it is difficult to ascertain whether he did anything 
at all at the palace. M. Dimier gives reasons for 
believing that he did not design the Salle des Fetes, 
and it is known that he had no voice in the decision 
to substitute a flat ceiling for the vaulting designed for 
that room. Serlio says that a "man of superior 
authority " ordered the building to be altered, and that 
he himself was never consulted in the matter. The 
question is, who was the " man of superior authority." 
M. Dimier says it was Philibert de TOrme, but it seems 
to me that it was much more probably Primaticcio 
himself, and his treatment of the architecture of the 
Salle de Bal appears to me a signal instance of that 
disregard of architecture which painters sometimes 
permit themselves. Sculptors who deal in the round 
realise that an architect must have his planes, his light 
and shade, and the relief of actual forms, if he is to get 
his efFect ; but the painter, who works on the flat, is 
apt to think that this is unnecessary, arid that he him- 
self can do all that is wanted with his paints, and his 
brushes, and his chiaroscuro ; and as for architecture, 
when it is recognised that this is merely a vehicle for 
painting, it naturally follows that if architecture gets in 
the way, it has got to get out of it. This, at least, was 
Primaticcio's view, and he acted upon it with unhesitating 




It is probable that he was already well established at 
Fontsdnebleau when the Salle de Bal was begun, some- 
where between 1530 and 1540. The exact date 
appears to be uncertain, and it is supposed that the hall 
occupies the site of a gallery included in Francis's 
scheme of 1528. It cert^nly does not belong to the 
earlier Italian work at Fontainebleau, and its design 
was a conception beyond the range of Le Breton, the 
master -mason of the palace. On the other hand, 
medieval gurgoyles spring from the cornice outside, 
and we must suppose that the building grew in the 
usual promiscuous way, designed perhaps by an archi- 
tect, built by French masons, and carved by Italians. 
The traditional story is that Serlio was the architect of 
the building, and that Primaticcio made him give up 
his vaulting for a flat ceiling. M. Dimier says that 
not Serlio but the master -mason Le Breton was the 
architect, and that the "man in authority" who 
ordered the alteration without consulting Serlio was in 
fact Philibert de I'Orme. But De TOrme had the 
profoundest contempt for painter-architects ; he was an 
architect or nothing, and the last man in the world to 
sacrifice architecture to painting. Moreover, M. 
^ Dimier's dates are loose. The building was up to the 
springing of the vaulting when the incident occurred, 
and it occurred before the death of Francis I. Serlio 
says that it happened when he still held oflice as 
architect to Francis, and as De TOrme did not succeed 
him till 1548, and could have had no authority to in- 
terfere till formally appointed, it seems to me that M. 
Dimier's hypothesis and valiant attempt to whitewash 


his hero must fall to the ground, and that it was in 
fact Primaticcio who forced the architect of the Salle 
de Bal to stultify his design, for the vaulted bays at the 
sides have no meaning without the central vault.^ In 
1 54 1, as we have seen, Primaticcio succeeded to the 
supreme control at Fontainebleau, and had to prepare 
the scheme of decoration for the Salle. He found, on 
examining the plans, that the architect proposed to 
build the Salle as a large vaulted central nave, with five 
embrasures or bays on either side, separated by massive 
piers to receive the thrust of the vaulting. The central 
nave measures 29.40 m. in length, and 9.62 in width, 
exclusive of the bays, which measure 2.65 m. in 
depth, by 3.80 in width. The ground storey was 
already built on this plan, and the first floor (the floor 
of the Salle des Fetes), with the arches to the side bays, 
and the corbels to receive the groining ribs of the 
central nave, were already up when Primaticcio entered 
on the scene. He at once saw that, if the architect's 
plan was carried out, there might be a very fine hall, 
but inadequate and inconvenient spaces for his paint- 
ings. This did not suit the master decorator at all. 
It was a simple matter to sacrifice the architect, and the 
latter was compelled to abandon the vaulting to the 
central nave, and to carry his walls straight up to a 
flat-coffered ceiling instead. Either through careless- 
ness on the part of Primaticcio, or as a last struggle 
made by the humiliated architect, the corbels were 
allowed to remain. What the architect thought of all 
this we do not know. Serlio, if he it was, merely 

^ See above, pp. 155-156, for further discussion of this point. 


states that a man of superior authority and better 
judgment than the mason ordered the alteration, and 
that not the slightest reference was made to him in the 
matter, though he was on the spot and in the King's 
service. Primaticcio was all-powerful, and probably 
Serlio dared not allow himself to say more. In 1 548 
he was superseded by Philibert de I'Orme, and he left 
Fontainebleau for Lyons in 1550. 

Primaticcio had now got his wall space, and his 
designs were carried out by Niccolo dell' Abbate, who 
covered every av^lable space above the panelling with 
allegorical and classical subjects, such as Ceres and the 
Harvest, the Forge of Vulcan, the Palace of the Sun, 
the Marriage of Thetis and Peleus, the Judgment of 
Paris, Jupiter and Mercury entertained by Philemon 
and Baucis, and the like ; and it must be admitted 
that, if Primaticcio ruined a fine architectural design, 
he designed an effective scheme of painted decoration.^ 
There is some uncertainty and hesitation in the scale. 
The artist seems never to have made up his mind 
whether his figures were to be heroic or life-size ; 
moreover, having cut away all architectural details, he 
seems to have thought it necessary to paint some of 
them in again, so he painted architraves to the arches 
on the flat wall-surface, and then painted over them the 
shadows of the wheat sheaves, or of any stray legs and 
arms of the gods and goddesses that happened to be 
near. Apart from this, there is a certain frivolous 

^ A lilt of the painters and ** imagers" who worked in this room and elsewhere 
at Fontainebleau is to be found in the Compta^ Laborde, vol. i. pp. 195-201. As the 
list contains 104 names, it is impossible to disentangle the names of the artists who 
actually did this work. 



charm about the figures which is very attractive, and a 
glow of colour, in spite of M. Alaux's restorations, 
which is wanting in II Rosso*s work. One does not 
wonder at the ascendency which Primaticcio gained 
over the French Court of the sixteenth century with 
its passion for amusement and intrigue. 

Primaticcio*s stucco work on the Escaiier du Souve- 
rain is in some ways the most interesting thing at 
Fontainebleau. This staircase was originally the bed- 
room of the Duchesse d'Etampes, a warm supporter of 
Primaticcio ; and it was from this room that she 
escaped when Henry II. succeeded to the throne and 
Diane de Poitiers to the royal favour. It is probable 
that Primaticcio designed and executed this work him- 
self ; all that is left of it are the female figures support- 
ing framed panels and cartouches, with oval centre-pieces 
covered with amorini over the doorways. The figures 
were originally nude, but Maria Leczinska, wife of 
Louis XV., thought it necessary to cover them par- 
tially with drapery. These graceful figures are charac- 
teristic of Primaticcio's work, but the exaggerated 
relief, almost standing free from the wall, is significant 
of the decadence of architectural sculpture. 

Primaticcio was indeed an indefatigable man. He 
had out-manoeuvred rivals at Court. It is true that in 
Philibert de TOrme he met a strong, unyielding man, 
an architect who believed in architecture, and who for 
some ten or eleven years must have been a thorn in the 
side of the painter, with his exact and uncomfortable 
knowledge of facts. But Primaticcio's methods were 
successful as before, and two days after the death of 

— - *• 

^^ -^i 

^f r - 





o n 

i «: 




Henry, Dc TOrme was dismissed, and Primaticcio was 
appointed " Surintendant des Batiments." M. Dimier 
attributes to Primaticcio, among other works at Fon- 
tainebleau, the east side of the Cour de la Fontaine, 
with the double external staircase known as the *' Aile 
de la Belle Cheminee." This is the best piece of archi- 
tecture in the whole building, and if indeed it was 
designed by Primaticcio, it would prove that he shared 
some of the genius of the greater Italians for severe 
and masterly architecture ; but Primaticcio's authorship 
rests on the scanty evidence of the word " neuf," which 
M. Dimier interprets to mean two years before 1570, 
but which might also apply to buildings erected before 
1550, which would bring in Philibert de I'Orme, and 
even Serlio. Dc TOrme's work at Fontainebleau is 
more or less known. He built the famous "Fer a 
cheval " staircase on the side to the " Cour du Cheval 
Blanc," a masterpiece of constructive ingenuity, of 
which the architect was very proud himself ; but it is a 
bad design, and the detail is crowded and fussy. It is 
improbable that the architect of this staircase should at 
-the same time have designed the broad, majestic fa^de 
of the double staircase. The master-mason is out of 
court, and it seems to me that none but an Italian 
trained in the school of middle Renaissance architecture 
would have been capable of such a design, and that 
it is probable that this facade was Serlio*s contribu- 
tion to the Palace of Fontainebleau. Felibien, in fact 
{EntreHenSj ii. 57), states that it was designed by Serlio. 
It is a fine piece of spacious design, and one finds here, 
for the first time, the wide, flat Doric pilaster, which 


remains to this day the most characteristic feature of 
modern French Classic. Where I think Primaticcio's 
hand can be traced is in the very unusual and imagina- 
tive sculpture of the capitals in the Cour Ovale. These 
vary very much in quality, those added in the time of 
Henry IV. being little above the level of our own 
Jacobean, but on the capitals of the pilasters of the 
Salle de Bal a master was at work, inspired by some 
very fanciful designer. Here are satyrs and wild men 
of the woods, devils, amorini, goats, and other strange 
devices for volutes ; on the capitals to the buttresses of 
the Chapel of St. Saturnin stags' heads form the 
volutes, entangled with devices of the F and the sala- 
mander of Francis I., and, by some curious play of 
fancy, the head of the st^ which forms the volute on 
the engaged side just reappears through the surface of 
the stone. Few details in this great palace suggest 
more intimately the strange, romantic, half-unreal, and 
yet intensely fascinating atmosphere of the court of 
Francis I. 

The entries in the Comptes afford many another 
suggestive glimpse of the Fontainebleau of the six- 
teenth century. What, for instance, has become of 
the great clock ^ which was made for the Royal Chapel ^ 
In 1 540-1 550 Fremin DeschaufFeur was paid 12 livres a 
month for a great wooden figure of Vulcan for this 
clock, and he, with Loy Sonnier, carved in walnut 
seven figures for this clock, each 6 feet high, of ApoUo, 
Luna, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn, 
representing the seven days of the week. There is no 

^ Laborde, vol. i. pp. 201-202. 

x^ ' ^3 

;^^- .7^ 

^ J 

.A- - 



From a Drawing by Reginald Blomfieid. 


vestige of it left, or of the bronze casts from the 
antique, or of all the figures made in 1 560-1 561 for the 
garden of the Queen by Dominique, Florentin, Germain 
Pildn, Ambrose Peret, Fremin Roussel, Laurens Regnier, 
and Frangois de Brie.^ Yet, in spite of all these losses, 
rambles through the palace are like hours in a well-filled 
library, and, indeed, Fontainebleau is a mine of wealth 
to the student of modern French art. I have put 
down some of the traces of Italian influence, but the 
story can be followed steadily onward in all its varying 
phases down to the present day ; and though the palace 
has suflFered from the painter, gilder, and carver, it 
has somehow escaped the ravages of modern Gothic, 
and gives the impression of having maintained its 
continuity of existence. Every corner of it has some 
historical association of absorbing interest, for this was 
the favourite residence of the French kings. It was in 
the ante-chamber of the Cabinet du Roi that Marshal 
Biron was arrested for treason against the throne of 
Henry IV. In the Galerie des Cerfs, Monaldeschi was 
butchered by command of Christina of Sweden. In the 
Cabinet de Travail du Roi, Napoleon signed his abdica- 
tion ; in the Cour du Cheval Blanc he parted from his 
generals. To the north of the palace is the Jardin de 
Diane, to recall the memories of Diane de Poitiers and 
her successors ; to the south are the great gardens laid 
out by Lenotre for Louis XIV., the Causeway with its 
avenue of whispering limes, and the lake with its legend 
of immemorial carp ; and over all rests an ancient 
peace. The French Revolution seems to have passed it 

^ Laborde, vol. ii. p. 50. 


by, leaving it, by some happy chance, a monument of 
the Old Regime. The vices and failures of that for- 
gotten period are buried by time ; only its finer 
qualities are here suggested, in the noble spaciousness 
of the grounds and the tranquil dignity that still 
lingers round the palace. It is a standing lesson of 
what the Arts have lost in the rush of modern life. 
What function is reserved in the future for art it is 
difficult to say ; what is certain is that the modern 
temperament renders it hard to attain to the qualities 
of breadth and simple inevitable power which were as 
much a matter of course with these masters of the past 
as their perfect manner was with the older aristocracy 
of France. 



C,\ l\^ ^x^M. 

-J \^' ■'•^ '■^^■C t •^C*KA,^. 



From a Drawing by Reginald Bloni field. 



Barthelemy da Miniato, Florentine painter, stucco work. 
This artist began work February lo, 1533. 

Laurens Regnauldin, Florentine painter, stucco, chambers 
of King and Queen. April 15, 1534. 

Francisque Pellegrin. Pellegrino was at work on the stucco 
of the gallery of Francis I. in the summer and autumn of 1535 
and onwards. 

Nicolas Bellin, dit Modesne, peintre, la somme de 100 livres 
pour avoir vacque avec Francisque de Primadicio, dit de Boul- 
logne (Bologna), peintre, es ouvrages de stucq et peinture, etc. 
July to November 1535. 

Just le Just, " imager." ifSS- 

Maistre Mathieu Dalmasat, Veronois, 27 livres for 8 lb. of 
smalt and 4 lb. of " vert de terre." 

Maistre Roux de Roux, as in text, 50 livres a month. 

Francisque Primadicio, dit de Boullogne, ^'conducteur et 
diviseur des dits ouvrages de stucq, et peinture," 25 livres a 
month. 1535. 

Maistre Francisque Sibecq, dit de Carpi, menuisier. 

^ A Maistre Therosine de la Robie, esmailleur et sculpteur 
Florentin," etc. See CompteSy vol. i. p. 112. 



Virgil Buron, peintre, dit de Boullongne (Bologna), 20 
livres. (1537-1540.) 

Jean Bavron, aussy dit de Boullogne, 20 livres. 

Anthoine de Fantose, 20 livres (paintings and grotesques). 

Lucas Romain, peintre, 20 livres. 

Jean Baptiste Baignecheval (Bagnacavallo), peintre, 20 livres. 

Domenique, Florentin, " imager," 20 livres. 

Bastiannet Serlio, peintre et architecteur du pais de Boullogne 
la Grace, 400 livres a quarter, 1541 (vol. i. p. 190). Livres 
96: 1 : 12 is paid to Serlio for the purchase of Levantine skins 
for Fontainebleau (p. 203). He directs the painting of two 

Francisque Cachenemis (Caccianemici), 1540 et seq.j patterns 
of tapestry and painting, 20 livres a month. 

Jacques Veignolles (Vignola), peintre, et Francisque Rybon, 
fondeur, for moulds of plaster and earth for casting the antiques 
brought from Rome, 20 livres. 1540- 1550. 

Nicolas PAbbc, peintre, 1556 et seq.j and in 1569 Jules 
Camille de Labbe, painter of grotesques, appears (? a son or 

Domenique, Florentin, reappears in 1560, with nine wooden 
figures of gods and goddesses for the Queen's garden. 

With the exception of Sibecq for joinery, Jacques Canselli, 
painter, and Gaspard Mazarin, 1561, and the possible excep- 
tions of '^Jacques Barthelemy et Jean Fruace, maistres 
peintres,'' in 1558, there are no further entries of Italians at 
Fontainebleau. The number of Frenchmen employed in- 
creases very largely between 1540- 1550, and it is probable that 
De rOrme was mainly responsible for this. De I'Orme held 
very strong views on the employment of foreigners in France, 
and he was not the man to entertain merely pious opinions. 

I have only observed the names of three Flemings, Jossc 
Foucques, Flamand, 1535, peintre, imager, 20 livres a month. 
Romain Pastenaque du Pays de Fkndres, imager, 12 livres 


a month. Durcq Teregent, Flamant, imager, 12 livres a 

The above list has been prepared from the entries in Laborde, 
Comptes^ vols. i. and ii. The figures {e,g. vingt livres par mois) 
giving the rate of pay are of some importance, as showing the 
relative estimation of these artists. 20 livres a month was 
the regular pay of the ordinary Italian artist, whereas, in 1556, 
Pierre Bontemps, the sculptor, was only receiving 15 livres a 
month. Workmen received 3 sous a day, which would work 
out at 4 to 5 livres a month. 

The names given are those of undoubted Italians. Con- 
cealed under apparently French names may be other Italians, 
but I have not attempted to imearth them. II Rosso becomes 
Rousse de Roussy in the Depenses secretes of Francois I. 
(Laborde, vol. ii. p. 365). 



Full details of this method are given in the first book of the 
Nwvellis Inventions (Book X. of the collected works). A 
plate about lo in. to 12 in. by 8 in. to 9 in. was laid along the 
wall, with mortices about 6 in. by 2 in. by 3 in. deep formed 
every 2 ft. apart. In these mortices were fixed the built-up 
ribs forming the construction. These ribs were formed of 
planks ('' aix ") in two thicknesses, in lengths of about 4 ft., 
and fi-om i in. to 3 in. thick, by 8 in. to 18 in. deep, according 
to the span and the wood used. In the roof at La Muette 
the planks were 13 in. by 2 in. (see illustration). The lengths 
had butt joints, and the joints were arranged to overlap. The 
ribs were pierced in the centre with oblong holes 4 in. by 
I in. and a little over, to receive the " Hemes *' or horizontal 
ties, 4 in. by i in., which passed right through the ribs and 
were held in position by keys 2^ in. by i in. and as long as 
the depth of the rib, driven through the liernes, and wedged 
up tight to the ribs. In building up the ribs the planks might 
be bradded together, but this was merely a temporary expedient, 
the effective strength depending on the woodwork only. At 
the base of the ribs splockets (" coiaux *') were attached to com- 
plete the curve and carry off the water. The ribs were checked 
out for the top of the splockets, which were also held together 
by liernes and keys. The span at La Muette was 60 ft., but 
De rOrme says his construction could be applied to spans of 
300 ft., the only condition being that ^Mes murailles sont 



murailles " and did not give out under the thrust, though eke- 
where he modifies this by saying that when the ribs are 
semicircular in form they exercise no thrust whatever. For 
the wider spans he used additional liernes let in on the upper 
and lower sides of the ribs, and keyed in the same manner as 
the centre. 


Abbate, Niccolo deir, 205, 209 

Adam, ** Master Adam,'* 18 

Adam, Robert, 88 

Aile de la Belle Cheminie at Fontaine- 

bleau, 2x1 
Aix-la-Chapelle, cathedral at, 11 -12, 16 
Alaric, invasion of, 4 
Alaiuc, M., 199 
Albert!, Leon Battista, 47, 55 
Albertini, 47 

Alboin, king of the Lombards, 8 
Alezsi, G., 67 

All Hallows church, London, $2-8 3 
Almerigo, Paolo, villa of, 43-45 
Amalasuntha, 15 
Amiens, 125 
Anet, De TOrme entrusted with design 

of, 145; description o^ 146-154$ 

chapel at, 149-151 
Anthonius of Tralles, 23 
Anthoine, Jean, 1 98 
Antioch, church at, 36 
Apostles, Church of the Holy, 29 
Arcadi, G. Dance admitted a member of, 

** Architect," first use of word, 140 and 

Architect and painter, Dimier^s com- 
parison between, 109- 113, 133; 

Lister's views on the place of each, 

124-125; difference between, at 

Fontainebleau, 206-209 
^^ Architect, The Bad," in works of De 

rOrme, 184, 187 
** Architect, The Good," in works of De 

rOrme, 180, 184 
Arco di Trionfo, Vicenxa, 68 
Ashbumham Place, 82 
Assouan, the dam at, 31 
Athens, church of St. Nicodemus at, 30 
Atttari of Lombardy, 10 
Avignon, 100 
Axay le Rideau, xo2 

Bacon, J., 84 

Badouin, C, 198 

Bagnacavallo, B., 107, 203 

Bank of England, 75 

Banks, T., 84 

Barbaro, Daniele, 45, 47 

Barnsley, S. H., on Monastery of St. 

Luke of Stiris, 3 1 tf seqq, 
Barry, 84 

Basilica Palladiana, 63 
Basilica plan, 19, 20 
Beauvais, 125 

Belvedere in the Vatican, sUircase, 183 
Bentley, his cathedral at Westminster, 


Berenson, Mr., character of Italian Re- 
naissance Church, 61-62 

Berty, M., his work on the French Re- 
naissance, 96} his essay on Goujon, 
119, 121, 176 

Billard, Charles, 123 

Biondo, Flavio, 47 

Blois, 100 

Blondel, 173 

Boccador, 11, xx6, 195 

Bologna, Palaszo Giustixia at, 63 
PaUsso Albergati, 68 

Bontemps, Pierre, 123, 217 

Borromini, 52 

Boulainvilliers, Hdtel de, 131 

Brest, De TOrme's share in defence of 
(1546), 139 

Brickwork, in construction of St. Sophia, 
24 11., 26; use of, by Palladio and 
the Romans, 69-70 ; at Hampton 
Court, 70 

Brie, Fran9ois de, 213 

Brosse, Solomon de, 131 

Brunei, 84 

Bud^ on artists, 140 

Bullant, Jean, 109, 123, 153, 167, 178 ; 
his services to French architecture, 
117; share in the work at the 




Tuilcrics, 171 j work compared with 
De I'Orme and Lescot, 188 

Surges, William, 36 

Bnrlington, Lord, 53, 80 

Byzantine architecture, 7, 15-16, 19, 2i, 
24 »., 32, 34 J church of St. Sophia, 
great example of, 21 et uqq. 

fiyzantine-Ravennese architecture, 7 

Byzantium, as centre of Roman civilisa- 
tion, 16, 20 

Caccianemici, 203, 216 

Caligula, palace of, Rome, 15 

Callet, 95 

Campbell, Colin, 52 

Cantacuzenus, 29 

" Caprici di Carceri," 86 

Carita, La, Venice, 43, 63, 70 

Carpi, Richard of, X02 

Carpi, Scibec of, 157, 199, 215, 216 

Castoret, 114, X15 

Catherine de M^dicis, 93 ; Miss Sichel's 
book on, 1x8 n.\ alters design of 
Chftteau of St. Maur, 141 : and De 
rOrme, 168 ; revives scheme for 
building of Tuileries, 170 

Cattaneo, R., on early Italian architec- 
ture, I, 2, 14 

Cellini, 106, 202 

Cerceau, J. A. du, 113 ; his place among 
great architects of French Renaissance, 
129; employed by Henri IV. on 
Tuileries, 171 

Cerceau, J. A. du, the younger, 131 

Cervinus,. Marcellus (Pope Marcellus 
II.), patronises De TOrme, 137 

Chambers, Sir William, contrasted with 
Palladio, 72 

Chambiges, Pierre, 115 

Chambord, 42, 100, 116 

Chantilly, 132 

Charlemagne, 11, 12, 16 

Charles VIII., his Italian expedition, 
102, 195 

Charleval, 130 

Charvet, M., 1x4 

Chenonceaux, 154 

Chevalier d'Eon, 84 

Chiericate, Palazzo, 43 

Cividale, 10 

Coleorton, 82 

Comacine masters, 8-9 

Compi&gne, the Porte Chapelle at, 160 

Consiglio, Palazzo del, 43 

Constantine, 22, 34 

Constantinople, as marble-working centre, 
27 ; occupied by Crusaders and Turks, 

Cordero, his work on Italian architec- 
ture, 2 

Correggio, 202 
Cosway, R., 84 
Courajod, M., 98 
Cousin, Jean, X23, X24 

Dalmatian churches, X2, 15 

Dance, George, designs Newgate, 74-80 j 
birth and training, 8x { admitted a 
member of Arcadi, 8x, 88 ; his works, 
career, and death, 82 ; as an artist, 
83-84 ; his brothers, 84 ; his fither, 
85 ; Piranesi's influence on, 86- 


Dance, the elder, 85 

daniell, W^ 83 

Daphni, monastery of, 3 1 

De Champeveme, Florimond, 115 

D'Imola, Innocent, X07 

De Montaiglon, 98, X2i, 123, X27 

De rOrme, Philibert, 55, 109, X13, xx6, 
X34 ; portrait of, X35 ; birth and parent- 
age, 136 J at work in Rome, 137 ; resi- 
dence at Lyons, 138 j appointment in 
duchy of Brittany, X39J introduction 
to French Court, X40 ; first important 
architectural work, X4X $ appointed 
** Architecte du Roy," 142 ; report to 
Henry II. on work at Fontainebleau, 
144; his building of Anet, x 46- 154; 
designed bridge and gallery at Chenon- 
ceaux, X54; his repairs at Fontaine- 
bleau, X 55-1 57; his French Order, 
157-158; his built-up framing for 
roofs, X58-X60, 218-220; the tomb 
of Francis I., 16X-163 ; death of 
Henry II. affects his position at Court, 
X63-X68 ; employment in retirement, 
x68, X78 ; plan of the Tuileries, 169- 
175 ; his individual note, 175 ; death 
of, X76 ; reply to his enemies, 176- 
X78 ; literary work, X79-X82 ; place 
among great French architects, x88- 
190; position at Fontainebleau, 207, 


Diane de Poitiers, 1x8, XX9; entrusted 
design of Anet to De l*Orme, 145 

Diavolo, Casa del, 43 

Diehl, M., 31 

Dimier, L., his life of Primaticcio, 91, 
98, X06, X65-X67 ; on Francis I.'s in- 
fluence on French Renaissance, 104 ; 
on relation of architecture to the other 
arts, 109-113 

Diocletian's Palace, 35 

Dome, construction of, 5, 17, 20, 35, 
36, 61, 62, 63 

Dominique, Florentin, 213, 216 

Dorigny, Charles, 198 

Du Bellays, X38, 141 

Duomo of Florence, 9 



^couen, 123 ; Goujon's work at, 124 
Egyptian doorway at Fontainebleau, 193 
England, architecture in, 37, 72, 92, X04 
Escalier dn Souverain of Fontainebleau, 
203, 210 

Fantuszi, 203 

Fauno, 47 

F^e-en-Tardenois, 92 

Fergusson, James, 73, 81 

Finsbury Square, 82, 83 

Florence, Academy of, 46 

Florentine sculpture, 200 

Fontana, G., 41 

Fontainebleau, work started under Fran- 
cis I., X06, XI 5, 191 J Primaticcio at, 
106-109; school of, X08, 196; De 
rOrme appears at, 142 ; Serlio's share 
in work at, 143 n^ 192 ; De TOrme's 
share in repairs, 155-157; the cradle 
of modem French art, 191, 196; 
changes under successive monarchs, 
193; plan of, 194; treatment of 
figures at, 195 ; appointment of archi- 
tect, 197 ; artists engaged at work 
on, 198, 215-217 ; Gallery of Francis 
I^ 199 ; Nymph of, 199 ; stucco 
ornamentation at, 200 ; Primaticcio 
succeeds II Rosso at, 202, 212 ; 
historical associations of, 213 

Fontaine des Innocents, Goujon's, 129 

Fossati, 29 

Fouquet, Josse, 198 

France, in Renaissance period, 91 ; house- 
building in, 92 ; palaces of, 95 ; methods 
of architects in restorations, 95, 193 ; 
historical work in, 98 ; development 
of architecture, X04, 131 ; Italian 
artisU in, 105-106, 114, 195, 198, 
215-216; excellence in architecture, 
132, 133 ; final victory of Italian 
Renaissance, 19 x 

Francis I. of France, his orders for 
buildings, 93, 10 1 ; his contribution 
to French Renaissance, 104 ; as 
patron, 105 ; his own architect, X15 ; 
urn of, at St. Denis, 123 ; his tomb, 
126, 161-163; rebuilding of Fontaine- 
bleau, 191-X97 

Fr^art on De I'Orme, X58, 185 

French Renabsance, 91 ; chief archi- 
tectural eflfbrt of, 92 ; speculation on, 
95 ; literature on, 96-98 ; historical 
monnmenu of, 97 ; definition, 99 ; 
differed widely from that of Italy, 99 ; 
early examples of, xoo ; Margaret of 
Navarre's part in, X05 ; its complete- 
ness, 129; opinion of De TOrme's 
architecture, 188 
Fulvio, 47 

Gaillon, example of early Renaissance,. 
94, X02-X03, 195 

Galla Placidia, chapel of^ 5, 17 

Garrucci, 2 

Geymtlller, Baron H. de, his account 
of the Du Cerceau family, 91, 98, 

Gibbon on construction of Theodoric^s 
mausoleum, 6, X7 

Giocondo, Fra, 47, 195 

Girard, Pierre, 1x5 

Girtin, Thomas, 84 

Gothic architecture, study of, i, 2 ;, 
revival of^ 37 

Gothic war, loss of life in, 8 

Goujon, Jean, his work, xi8 ; discovery 
as to his death, x 19-121 ; 122 ; critical 
estimate of, X24, X26; subordinated 
his sculpture to restraints of archi- 
tecture, X25 ; genius of, 125-X26 ; his 
association with Pierre Lescot, 127, 
128 ; compared with Leonardo da^ 
Vinci, 129, X49 

Grange, The, Alresford, 82 

Hagia Theotokos at Constantinople, 30 
Hampton Court, use of brickwork at, 

70 ; medallions of Roman emperors- 

in, 197 
Hardwick, 84 

Hardwicke Hall, great frieze in, 20 x 
Hawksmoor, jy 
Haydn, Joseph, 84 
Heame, Thomas, 84 
Henry II. of France, X43-X44 ; tomb of,. 

126, 163 ; dedication of Martin's 

"Vitruvius" to, 127 ; death of, 163 
Honorius, 3, 4 
Hoppner, John, 84 

He de France, too 

Isidorus of Miletus, 23 

Isidorus, the younger, 28 

Italian artists in France, xoi-102, 104, 
105-X06, 1x4, 195, 198, 215-216 

Italy, early architecture of, after break- 
up of Roman Empire, 2-4, x8, 19; 
influence of Byzantium on, 7 ; Gothic 
kingdom of, 7 ; state of the arts in, 
from fifth to tenth century, 16-17 ; 
Renaissance in, 62, 99, 1x4, 196 

Jacquiau, Ponce, 162 
ones, Inigo, influence of Palladio on, 
4X, 53; his work at Wilton, 11 1 ; 
his design for Whitehall, 175 ; Ben 
Jonson's abuse of, X77 
Juste, Antonio, 102, 105, X25 
Justice, figure of, on Newgate, 77 
JustinUn, 22, 29, 30, 32, 39 



Kemble, John, 84 
Kent, 52 

Labacco, 47 

Laborde, Marqnis L^on de, his work on 

the French Renaissance, 96, 115 n, 
Lafreri, 47 

Law Courts, London, 37 
Le Bretons, the, 114, 115, 144, 207 
Lenoir, Alexandre, 94 
Leoni, 45 

Lescot, Pierre, 105, 109, 1x8, 127 
Lethaby, W. R^ on church of St. Sophia, 

Leto, Pomponius, 47 
Le Veau, Louis, 171 
Liberty, figure of, on Newgate, 77 
Ligorio, P., 47 
Lister, R., his book on Jean Goujon, 

91, I x8 er teqq, 
Litttprand, King, 9 

Lombard architecture, 2, 3, 10, 1 2, 1 3, 1 9 
Lombards, in 568, conquer greater part 

of Italy, 8 ; rebuild churches instead 

of destroying them, 10 
Longhena, 60 
Louis XIV., 93, 131 
Louvre, Lescot's work at, 175 5 Prima- 

ticcio*s drawings at, 203, 205 
Lucca, 10 
Luxembourg, 131 
Lyons, 136 

Madrid, Ch&teau de, 92 

Mansion House, London, designed by 
Dance the elder, 81, 85 

Marble used in decorating St. Sophia, 
Constantinople, 26, 27 

Margaret of Navarre, influence of, on 
French Renaissance, 105 

MarUani, 47, 49 

Marseilles, 100 

Maupassant, Guy de, statue of, 132 

Maur, ChAteau of St., 92, 141, 175 

Mediaeval architecture. Leader Scott's 
explanation of, 9 ; Rivoh-a's con- 
tentions regarding origin of, 19 

Merzario, Prof. G., 8 

Metezeau, Clement, 171 

Michael Angelo, 202 

Milan, 3,4,8, 13, 18 

Miniato, Barthelemy da, 198, 215 

Monceaux, 159 

Montmorency, Anne de, 123, 167 

Morris, W., 38 

Muette, La, 158, 159, 218 

Municipio, Vicenxa, 64 

Mylne, R., 88 

Naldini, 196 (or Regnauldin), 198, 215 

Napoleon I. and the royal palaces of 

France, 95, 191, 193 
Napoleon III., architecture of, 191, 193 
Neone, baptistery of, 5, 15 
Newel stairs, 183 
Newgate Prison, London, 73, 90 ; 

history of the building, 74, 75, 77, 


Nicephorus, Emperor, 12 

Nonesuch, 200 

Northcote, 84 

Northern races' contribution to modem 

architecture, 18 
Nymphaeum in Licinian Gardens, Rome, 

Or bay, Francois d*, 171, 172 

Paganino, xo2, 195 

Painting and architecture, respective 

places of, 1 09- 1 13, 133; Mr. Lister 

on, 124-125 
Paleologus, Andronicus and Michael, 


Palissy, Bernard, 124, 177 

PalUdKiy.AftTh-««, 40, 58, 63, 67 ; birth, 

"^41 j" career, 41-42} goes to Rome, 
42 ; first imporUnt work, 43 ; his 
other important buildings, 43 ; designs 
villa for Paolo Almerigo, 43-45 ; 
literarv work, 45 ; latest design, 45 ; 
Vasan's account of, 46 ; place among 
architects, 46 ; predecessors, 47 ; his 
restorations, 48, 49 ; his extraordinary 
reputation, 5 1 ; reputation in England, 
52-53, 67 ; his treatise on architec- 
ture, 54 5 " Antiquities of Rome," 56 5 
"Commentaries*' of Caesar, 575 the 
study of hb life and work, 71 

Palustre, Leon, his work on French 
Renaissance, 97 \ on claims of native 
artists, X14; on use of word ** archi- 
tect," 140 

Pantheon, 49, 62, 63 

Parmigiano, 127 

Paul III., Pope, 43 

Paul the Silentiary, 21 

Pa via, 8, 10 

Peace, figure of, on Newgate, 77 

Pellegrino, 196, 198, 199, 215 

Pembroke, Lord, 80 

Penis, Laurent, 120 

Penni, Luca, 201 

Perac, Stefano du, 49, 171 

Percier and Fontaine, i x i 

Perret, Ambrose, 162, 2x3 

Peruxxi, Baldassare, 50, 53, 58, 68 

Pfnor, M., his works on Anet and 
Fontainebleau, 96, X98, 20 x 

Pierrefonds, 95 



Pilon, Germain, Three Graces of, 1x0, 
118, 130, 131, 163,204,213 

Piranesi, Giambattista, his "Caprici di 
Carceri," 86 ; his influence on Dance, 

Poggio, 47 

PorU del Palio, Verona, 68 

Porto Barbarano, Palazzo, Vicenza, 64, 69 

Post-Roman architecture, 2 

Pottier, M^ 121 

Pre-Lombardic architecture, examples, 

10 $ characteristics of, x x 
Primaticcio, Francesco, sole director of 

arts at Court of France, 106, X64, 208 ; 
birth, career, and death, X07 j succeeds 

11 Rosso at Fontainebleau, 201 ; his 
work, 203-204, 205 ; changes design 
of Salle de Bal, Fontainebleau, 206- 
209 ; his stucco work on Escalier du 
Sottverain, 2x0 

Primitives, X9X 
Procopins, 7-8, 28, 30 

Ragione, Palazzo della, Vicenza, 69 

Ravenna, activity in building at, 4, 6 ; 
exarchate of, 7 ; church of San Vitsle 
at, 6, 7, XX, 15, x6 

Redentore, II, at Venice, 42, 58, 59, yi 

Regnier, Laurens, 2x3 

Renaissance. Ste French and Italy 

'Rktxi of Anjou, loi 

Restorations, methods of French archi- 
tects when engaged in, 95, X93 

Reveil, X22 

Revolution, French, effects of, 91-92 

Reynolds, SirJ., 202 

Rivoira, G. iC, on early Italian architec- 
ture, 2 ; on the architecture of the 
West, 3; differentiates between 
various styles of architecture, 3 tt ttf,^ 
on the Comacine masters, 9 ; on pre- 
Lombardic work, 11 ; on Ravennese 
builders, 12 ; opinion of church of 
St. Ambrose at Milan, 13; survey 
of Lombardic architecture, 13; his 
method, X4 

Robbia, Jerome della, 196 

Rodin, **La Haulmi^re,*' X32 

Roman architecture, 20, 23, 24, 34-35, 

Roman emperors, medallions of, in 

Hampton Court, X97 
Roman Empire, 2, x6, X7, 35 
Romano, Giulio, 58, 107, xxo, 202 
Romano-Ravennese style — 

Baptistery of Neone, 4 

Galla Placidia, 4 

S. Agata, 4 

S. Giovanni Evangelista, 4, 5 

S. Pier Crisologo, 4 

Romantic movement in France, 13 x 
Ronsard, Pierre de, X65, 167, X77 
Roofs, De rOrme's method of forming 

ribs for, 218-220. 
Rosso, II, at Fontainebleau, xo6, 193, 

197 • 200 ; rivalry with Primaticcio, 

RoUri, King, 9 
Roussel, Fremyn, 126, 213 
Roy, Symon le, X98 
Ruskin, T*, on origin of Lombardic art, 

2 ; opmion on architecture, 24 
Rustic!, X96 

S. Agata, Ravenna, 4 

S. Agnese, Rome, 8 

S. Ambrogio, Milan, X3, 18 

S. Apollinare, Ravenna, 19 

S. Aquilino, Milan, 13 

S. Euphemia, Verona, 120 

S. Giacomo, Como, 13 

S. Giovanni Evangelista, Ravenna, 4, 5 

S. Maria della Caccie, xo 

S. Maria della Steccata, 128 

S. Maria in Valle, 10 

S. Michele, Pavia, 8 

S. Pier Crisologo, 4 

S. Salvatore, Brescia, xo 

St. Alphege, London Wall, 82, 83 

St. Botolph, Aldgate, 85 

St. Denis, urn of Francis I. at, xo2, 123, 

X26, x6i 
St. Front, P^rigueux, 2x, 30 
St. Germain I'Auxerrois, 94, 128 
St. Germain-en-Laye, 95. See also St. 

Germains, 160 
St. Gillea, Vis St. G. staircase, X83 
St. Leonards, Shoreditch, 85 
St. Luke's, Old Street, 8$ 
St. Luke's HospiUl, London, 82 
St. Luke of Stiris in Phods, 3X-33 
St. Madou, X22 
St. Mark's, Venice, 8, 2X, 30 
St. Nicodemus, Athens, 30 
St. Satumin, chapel of, Fontainebleau, 

St. Sophia, church of, 19, 22-29 
Salute, U, 59, 60 
Salle de Bal, also "« Salle des Fetes ** and 

" Galerie de Henri II.," Fontainebleau, 

X55, 206-209 
Salonica, 27 
Salzenberg, 2X, 29 
San Donato at Zara, church of, 12 
San Francesco della Vigna, Venice, 60 
San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, 43, 58, 71 
San Pietro in Toscanella, church of, 

10- IX 
San Vitole, Ravenna, 6, 7, xx, 15, 

16, 36 




Sandby, Paul, 84 

Sandonini, T., 1 19-120 

Sanmichele, Michele, 53, 68 

Sansovini, G., 67 

Sarto, Andrea del, 105 

Scamoszi, O. B., biographer of Palladio, 


Schultz, R. W., on Monastery of St. 
Luke of Stiris, 3 x f/ se^f, 

Scott, Leader, " The Cathedral Buildert,** 

Sculpture, 118; and architecture, 125, 
126, 2o6 ; the genius of Goujon and 
Pilon in, 130, 131 

Selvatico, 2 

Serlio, 47-48 ; employed by Francis I. 
at Fontainebleau, 1x5, 143, 192-197 j 
his books on architecture, 192 ; con- 
nection with Primaticcio, 206-207 ; 
contribution to Fontainebleau, 211 

Seron, Andr£, 198 

Sichel, Edith, quoted, 91, 105 ; her 
portrait of Diane de Poitiers, 118 

Smtrke, S., 84 

Soane, Sir John, pupil of Dance, 75 ; his 
design for Bank of England, 75-76 

Soissons, Hotel de, 93 

Solario, X05 

Space composition, 61-62 

Spencer portrait of Diane de Poitiers, 

Stratton Park, Hants, 82 

Stucco, 63, 64, 70, 200, 201 

Style and period of architecture, vital 
distinction between, to be found in 
planning and construction, 18 

Swainson, H., on church of St. Sophia, 
21 et u^q, 

Syria, Roman architecture in, 35 

T^ Palazzo del, Mantua, 107 

Temanza, 41 

Terra-cotta pipes and amphorae, 5, 6, 

Theatre of Vicenza, 43, 66 
Theodolinda of Lombardy, xo 
Theodoric, mausoleum of, 6, 15, 17 
Theodosius II., 22 
Theotokos, church of the, at Phocis, 

Ticne, Palazzo, 43 
Todi, 61 

Toscanella, 10 

Tour d*Aigues, Vauduse, xoo 

Tour de I'Horloge, Fonuinebleau, 1 72, 

194, 196 
Tours, school of, 195 
Trinqueau, X14, 115 
Trissino, Gian Giorgio, 42 
Trissino, Palazzo, 42, 64 
Trompe, Anet, 153-154 
Tuileries, De TOrme's plan of, 169-175 ; 

burnt to ground in 1 87 1 by Commune, 


Vachon, M., 155 
Val, CUude du, 198 
Valmarana, Palazzo, 64-65, 69 
Valois, Chapel of the, 93 
Vasari, G., 41, 46, 200, 204 
Vaulting, Roman concrete, 17, 20, 35 
Venice — 

II Redentore, 42, 58, 71 

II Salute, 59, 60 

II Zitelle, 43. 58, 59 

La Carita, 43, 63 

St. Mark's, 8, 21, 30 

San Francesco della Vigna, 60 

San Giorgio Maggiore, 43, 58, 71 
Verneuil, 130 
Versailles, 94, 132 

Vicenza, birthplace of Palladio, 41, 43 j 

Palladio shows to least advantage in, 

63 ; Municipio of, 64 ; Palazzo 

Valmarana at, 64-65 ; theatre of, 66 

Vignola,G. B. da, 51, 53,67, 128, 137, 

Villehardouin, Geoffrey de, 28 
Villers-Cotterets, 102, 157 
Vinci, Leonardo da, X05-X06, 129 
Viollet-le-Duc, theories of, 38, 95, 98 
Vitruvius, 45, 54, 122, 127, 185 

Westminster, 9, 38 

Wilderness Park, 8x 

Wilton, basilica at, 36, 1 1 1 

Wren, Sir Christopher, 53 j his work at 

Hampton Court, 70 j the decoration 

of St. Paul's, X 1 1 

Zara, in Dalmatia, 12 
Zitelle, II, 58, 59 
Zoffany, John, 84 
Zucchero, 46 

Printed by R. & R. Clark, Limited, Edinburgh. 


nurd Edition. Crown Svo. Cloth elegant, yj. 6d. net. 
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This book, giving as it does a history of garden- 
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the subject from a more theoretic and less sentimental 
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Contents. — Chap. I. The Formal Method and the Landscape 
Gardener — Chap. II. The Formal Garden in England — Chap. III. 
The Formal Garden, continued— Chsi^. IV. The End of the Formal 
Garden and the Landscape School — Chap. V. The Courts, Terraces, 
Walks — Chap. VI. Knots, Parterres, Grass- Work, Moimts, Bowling- 
Greens, Theatre^ — Chap. VII. Fish- Ponds, Pleaching, Arbours, 
Galleries, Hedges, Palisades, Groves — Chap. VIII. Garden Archi- 
tecture — Bridges, Q^tehouses, Gateways, Gates, Walls, Balustrades, 
Stairs — Chap. IX. Garden Architecture, continued- — Garden-Houses, 
Aviaries, Columbaries, Dove-Cots, Hot- Houses, Carpenter's Work, 
Fountains, Sundials, Statuary — Chap. X. Conclusion — ^Appendices — 

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